Baseball Clinches Series Victory Over Miami
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team posted its first series victory of the season Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals recorded a 4-3 victory over Mid-American Conference rival Miami at Ball Diamond. Senior third baseman Tim Issler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) posted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead, scoring the eventual game-winning runs.
Sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) picked up his first win of the season working 6.1 solid inning of shutout baseball. Weir allowed just seven hits while striking out seven on a career-high 116 pitches. He was one of four Cardinals' pitchers on the afternoon that held the RedHawks to three runs, all in the ninth inning.
Ball State (7-20, 3-5 MAC) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning against right-hander Brooks Fiala. Senior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) and Weir posted back-to-back one out singles to get the Cardinals started. Sophomore Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) gave the Cardinals the early lead as he lined a two-strike pitch into center field to plate Widau for the 1-0 lead.
Ball State added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Godfrey led off with a single and quickly stole second base. Junior Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) put the Cardinals in front 2-0 as he doubled off the right field wall plating Godfrey.
Miami threatened in the top of the seventh inning as Dan Walsh singled and Scott Slappey lined a double off the wall in left field to put two in scoring position ending Weir's afternoon. Left-hander Jon Cisna (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) entered the game in a pressure-packed situation and worked his way out of the jam. Cisna recorded a strikeout of Ryan Brenner before getting a fly ball to right field stranding both runners in scoring position leaving the Cardinals with a 2-0 lead.
The RedHawks made some noise again in the eighth inning as Cisna walked two batters after getting the first out. He settled in and recorded a big strikeout before getting pinch hitter Jacob Wolf to fly out to left field stranding two more runners.
Ball State got a pair of crucial insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after Fiala got two quick outs. Beemer kept the inning going as he was hit by the first pitch he saw. Issler hit the first pitch he saw high over the left field wall for his first home run of the season and third of his career giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
Miami kept battling in the top of the ninth inning as Walsh led off with a single and Brennan drew a walk to put two aboard with one out. Bryce Redeker posted a run-scoring double to make it a 4-1 game before sophomore left-hander Devin Wilburn (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) came on in relief. Kevin Bower made it a 4-3 game with a two-run single into right field before Wilburn ended the threat with a ground ball to the shortstop to pick up his first save of the season and second of his career.
Fiala (2-4) was a hard-luck loser as he posted a complete game working 8.0 innings and allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out two batters.
Ball State and Miami will conclude its three-game MAC series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond.