Ball State baseball scored more than 10 runs for the fourth game in a row, beating Valparaiso (12-18, 3-6 Horizon) 11-2 on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, the Cardinals (15-18, 3-6 MAC) are now on a four-game win streak following a nine-game skid.
"[The winning streak] has been huge," senior center fielder Matt Eppers said. "We got in that losing streak, so every win is a big win for us right now. Unfortunately we're still under .500, but we're gonna try and play better than that [and] keep rattling off as many wins as we can."
Ball State opened with a four-run first inning, started by senior first baseman Caleb Stayton's RBI single. Junior shortstop Seth Freed followed with an RBI double before Eppers hit a two-RBI double up the middle. Valparaiso pulled freshman right-handed pitcher Jake Larson (0-1, 9.00 ERA) with just two outs in the first.
"Every time you score early is huge, and carrying the momentum we had from the other night and last weekend against Western," Ball State head coach Rich Maloney said. "I think it was huge [and] really set the tone for the game.”
Ball State statistics
W — John Baker (3-1, 2.84 ERA)
L — Jake Larson (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
The Crusaders loaded the bases in both the second and third innings, but only came up with one run off a sacrifice fly in the third.
"Definitely huge getting away with just one run in both of those [bases loaded jams], limiting the damage and staying away from [allowing] a big inning," freshman right-handed pitcher John Baker said.
Baker (3-1, 2.84 ERA) was credited with the win after going five innings with five strikeouts, allowing six hits, one walk and two earned runs on 99 pitches.
In the bottom of third, the Cardinals added four more runs on three consecutive at-bats. Eppers brought home his third RBI of the game on infield hit to make it 5-1, followed by a run off an error and two-RBI double by Roman Baisa to extend the Cardinals' lead to 8-1.
The Cardinals added three more runs in the fifth after Valparaiso scored its second in the top half of the frame.
Ball State hosts Bowling Green State in a three-game series starting at 3 p.m. Friday.