Despite securing an early lead, the Cardinals failed to come back after a seventh-inning domination by Central Michigan.
The Central Michigan Chippewas (44-12, 22-5 MAC) defeated the Ball State Cardinals (37-17, 20-5 MAC) 8-2 in the Cardinals’ second game Friday at the Mid-American Championship at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
After beating the Northern Illinois Huskies Thursday, the Cardinals came out on top scoring two runs in the first inning. Senior first baseman John Ricotta singled to center pushing Ross Messina to second and scoring Aaron Simpson. Messina later scored on an error by a Chippewas second baseman.
Central Michigan responded in the third inning when Ty Rollin singled to third base after bunting, and advanced to second on a throwing error by Ball State’s third baseman, pushing Evan Kratt to third and scoring David Cole.
The Cardinals held their 2-1 lead steadily even when they loaded the bases of the Chippewas and left them there in the bottom of the sixth.
However, in the seventh inning, the Chippewas rallied, finally breaking Ball State’s lead when they scored seven runs, all unearned.
With the Chippewas leading the game 8-2, the Cardinals couldn’t come back late in the game, scoring none in the eighth and ninth innings.
This win puts the top-seeded Chippewas on a 17-game win streak while breaking the Cardinals’ seven-game win streak.
Ball State will now face the Northern Illinois Huskies once again 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Beating the Huskies will take the Cardinals to the MAC Championship final where they would face the Chippewas once more, 6 p.m. the same day.