Cardinals Defeat Indianapolis, Prepare To Host Purdue
MUNCIE, Ind. - Four Cardinals had multiple hits Tuesday, including three from first baseman Joe Mack, as the Ball State baseball team earned an 8-7 win over Indianapolis at Ball Diamond.
Richie Fralick made his second midweek start of the season and allowed two runs on three hits to earn the win. Fralick struck out four batters in 5.0 innings.
With the win, Ball State improves to 11-12 on the season and has a chance to reach .500 Wednesday against Purdue. The Cardinals and the Boilermakers are set for a 3 p.m. start at Ball Diamond.
Of Mack's three hits Tuesday, the biggest was a fifth-inning grand slam. With Ball State leading 4-2, Nate Fields, Kory Benbow and Eric Earnhart reached to load the bases. Mack followed by sending a Matt Murphy pitch high and deep over the right field fence to give the Cardinals an 8-2 lead.
"Our hitters are getting settled in and gaining more confidence at the plate," Ball State coach Greg Beals said. "We're also playing more games at home in an offensive park, but I think mostly our guys are just gaining more confidence."
The six-run cushion proved to be just enough to withstand a big seventh inning from the Greyhounds. Highlighted by a two-RBI single from Aryn Ross and a two-RBI double from Kyle Stephenson, Indianapolis put five runs on the board in the seventh to trim Ball State's lead to one run at 8-7.
But Ball State's Aaron Hammons retired the Greyhounds in order in the eighth inning, and closer Kyle Heyne came on in the ninth to close the door. Heyne picked up his Mid-American Conference-leading seventh save of the season. His 21 career saves are three shy of the school record.
The Cardinals produced their first three runs by scoring once in the second inning, once in the third and once in the fourth before adding a run in the fifth prior to Mack's grand slam.
The Cardinals second-inning run came via a Kory Benbow home run. Benbow has now homered five times in Ball State's last six games and leads the team with six homers on the season. Jeremy Hazelbaker also homered for the Cardinals, belting his fourth of the year.
Indianapolis scored its first two runs on a pair of solo home runs off the bat of Daren Johnson before climbing back into the game with its five-run seventh inning.