MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The 2018 baseball season opened in exciting fashion for Ball State as the Cardinals notched an 8-5 win over UMass Lowell Friday afternoon at Shipyard Park.
Senior Colin Brockhouse provided the key hit, a two-out, three-run home run to deep right center field in the top of the eighth inning to put the Cardinals (1-0) ahead for good, 7-5. Junior Griffin Hulecki added an insurance run in the ninth with an RBI single.
UMass Lowell (0-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Russ Olive put the River Hawks on the board with an RBI double off the left center field wall. Cam Climo, the ensuing batter, came through with a two-run single. All three runs were scored with two outs off Ball State starting pitcher John Baker.
The Cardinals evened the game with three runs of their own in the fifth. Senior Seth Freed blasted a three-run home run over the right field wall and bullpen to level the game. Ball State went ahead with a run in the sixth only to see UMass Lowell regain the lead thanks to an Olive two-run home run in the seventh.
Baker went five innings and allowed three runs, but also equaled his personal high with 10 strikeouts. Junior Evan Marquardt recorded the save thanks to striking out all four batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings. Ball State recorded 18 of the 27 outs by way of strikeout.
This was the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Ball State continues play at the Shipyard Classic tomorrow, Feb. 17, with games against Morehead State (11 a.m.) and UMass Lowell (5 p.m.)