Down 2-5 going into the ninth inning, the Cardinals rallied to scored two and strand a third with only one out left. The Cardinals were unable to complete the last-ditch comeback with the tying run only 90 feet from home plate.
Dayton (6-9-1, 0-0 A-10) would hold on to beat Ball State (9-9, 0-0 MAC), 5-4, with another pair of matchups between the two coming this weekend.
“The kids battled until the end, but we just didn’t get it done,” head coach Rich Maloney said. “We didn’t make plays. We had a couple opportunities to make big plays, but we just didn’t do it. It is what it is.”
Only one run came within the first six innings as both team’s bats woke up in the seventh and beyond.
Sophomore Drey Jameson and the Cardinal defense slowed down the Flyers through the first six innings, only allowing one run in the second inning.
“I thought Drey was good and really solid,” Maloney said. “He did an excellent job and there are no complaints there. We have to do a better job for him.”
Jameson finished with a final line of 6.1 innings pitched, three hits allowed, three earned runs and four walks. Jameson controlled the plate while tying his season-high strikeouts in a game with 11. Despite hitting two batters, Jameson pitched his way out of multiple jams by using his 109 pitches to retire 11.
“I just compete so if something is not going right," Jameson said. "I just believe in myself and stay within my responsibilities,” “Dayton is a good team. We need to throw more strikes and eliminate more walks.”
After Jameson was replaced on the bump by junior Mike Pachmayer, Dayton’s bats started to heat up. Only getting six hits in the game, the Flyers took advantage of six walks and a few wild pitches.
Ball State’s first hit did not come until the fifth inning when senior John Ricotta poked a single into left field. The hit ended Junior Hunter Wolfe’s perfect game. Wolfe controlled the Cardinals’ offense until the top of the seventh when redshirt freshman Noah Navarro grounded a double play scoring junior Aaron Simpson.
“[Wolfe] was crafty and he threw pitches for strikes,” Maloney said. “Be bended but he didn’t break. You have to tip your hat off to him.”
The Cardinals will head home to face Dayton Saturday and Sunday.
Contact Drew Pierce with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dpierce3cc