The Falcon baseball team was swept by the Ball State Cardinals, losing 4-2 on Friday and losing 3-2 on Saturday, before losing 2-1 on Sunday.
“It was a heck of a college series,” Falcons head coach Danny Schmitz said. “All three games were close, we just didn’t have the ability to score more than two runs a game.”
Friday’s game saw the Falcons take the lead first as sophomore second baseman Dylan Dohanos added an RBI single in the third inning for a 1-0 lead. However, Ball State was quickly able to take the lead back in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by junior center fielder Aaron Simpson and a two-run home run from junior right fielder Ross Messina to take a 3-1 lead.
Ball State came back in the seventh to add another run with Simpson getting an RBI double. And while the Falcons were able to get the run back in the eighth, courtesy of an RBI fielder’s choice from senior shortstop Neil Lambert, it wouldn’t be enough as Ball State held on to win 4-2 to start off the series.
Ball State sophomore pitcher Drey Jameson picked up the win, going seven innings while allowing only one earned run on four hits and two walks, while Falcons sophomore pitcher Andrew Abrahamowicz took the loss as he went seven innings with four earned runs given up on 10 hits with no walks. Senior reliever Nick Floyd got the save for Ball State.
With Saturday’s game moved up from afternoon to morning due to weather, Ball State grabbed the momentum early with Messina getting an RBI single and senior second baseman William Baker also getting an RBI single to make it a 2-0 game in the first inning. However, the Falcons cut the lead in half with senior catcher Joe McGuinness drawing a walk with the bases loaded in the second inning. Both pitchers were able to hold off the offense for the middle portion of the game.
In the seventh, the Falcons were able to tie the game back up as senior designated hitter Brad Croy got an RBI sacrifice fly, but Ball State responded in the eighth with Messina hitting a solo homer to retake the lead. Ball State then was able to get out of a jam in the ninth inning as the Falcons had the bases loaded, but were unable to bring in a run as Ball State claimed the 3-2 win and the series victory.
“We've been in a ton of close games recently, and we've been a little bit snake-bitten not to have earned more bounces,” Schmitz said. “Our guys played incredibly hard again today against a really good team.”
Senior relief pitcher Brendan Burns got the win for Ball State, allowing no earned runs on two hits with no walks over two and two-thirds innings pitched, as Falcons reliever Jeremy Spezia took the loss as he went two innings, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk.
Sunday’s game saw both teams go scoreless until the seventh inning when Ball State freshman third baseman Ryan Peltier had an RBI double and freshman shortstop Justin Conant added an RBI single.
The Falcons began a rally in the ninth inning, as senior second baseman Riley Minorik had an RBI sacrifice fly, but that would be all as Ball State held on to win 2-1, and earn the series sweep.
“We had opportunities, but we just couldn’t get that next big hit,” Schmitz said. “You’re not going to win many games scoring two or less runs a game.”
Ball State sophomore pitcher Kyle Nicolas took the win, going seven innings with no earned runs on three hits and three walks, while Falcons junior pitcher Chase Antle was hit with the loss as he went six innings with just one earned run on two hits and three walks. Senior reliever Nick Floyd picked up the save for Ball State.
The team will next play on Wednesday afternoon on the road against the Dayton Flyers, before playing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at home against the Central Michigan Chippewas.