Ball State Out-Slugs Miami To Take Opener of MAC Baseball Championship

Updated 5/22/2013

MAC Baseball Tournament Bracket

Ball State 13, Miami 7
Box Score
AVON, Ohio - The No. 4 Ball State baseball team advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament second round of the winners bracket for the first time since 2006 after its 13-7 win over No. 5 Miami Wednesday morning at All Pro Freight Stadium.

The last time Rich Maloney has won the first game of the MAC Tournament as the Cardinals head coach was in 1999 when Ball State defeated Kent State, 4-1.

Scott Baker, the 2013 MAC Pitcher of the Year, improved to 12-1 on the season with the mound win for Ball State.  Baker gave up four runs off of nine hits while striking out four batters.  With the win Baker now holds the Ball State all-time pitching record for most victories in a season.
Offensively the Cardinals had 17 total hits.  Cody Campbell was 3-for-5 from the plate with a triple and a homerun.  Campbell also had three RBI and two runs.  Blake Beemer also went 3-for-5 which included a double, two RBI and three runs.  T.J. Weir went 3-for-4 with a homerun and Sam Tidaback was a perfect 3-for-3 while hitting a triple and a homerun.
The RedHawks crossed the plate early in the first inning after Jake Romano tripled to right center with only one out on the board.  John Crummy then singled to center field scoring in Romano for the first RBI of the game.  Baker then struck out Kevin Bower and Alex Johnson flew out to Sean Godfrey for the last out.
The Cardinals went scoreless in the bottom of the first.  Miami added another run in the top of the second after Baker gave up a single and a double giving Miami the 2-0 edge over Ball State. 
Cody Campbell started the bottom of the second off for Ball State with a triple to left field.  Blake Beemer brought home Campbell after he singled to the Miami shortstop.  With two outs and runners on first and second  Miami's Brooks Fiala struck out Elbert DeVarie to get out of the inning.
Miami took a 4-2 lead in the third off of back-to-back singles which left runners on first and second.  Dan Walsh then hit a two RBI single to right center for the scores. 
Ball State answered in the bottom of the third cutting the RedHawks lead to 4-3.  Winkle reached base after he was hit by a pitch.  Ryan Spaulding singled to center advancing Winkle to third.  Godfrey singled to the right side line to bring home Winkle.  Spaulding was left into scoring position after a double play.  Beemer then singled to bring home Spaulding.  Billy Wellman struck out swinging to end the inning.
It was a big fourth inning for the Cardinals after scoring four runs off of five hits which included singles from Weir, Spaulding and Campbell.  Tidaback tripled for the first time this season and Winkled doubled for the eighth time to help give Ball State the 7-4 advantage over Miami.
Ball State's bats stayed hot in the fifth inning, Weir singled to bring up Tidaback who then hit a two run homer to left field to put the Cardinals up 9-4 over the RedHawks.  The homerun marked Tidabacks third of the season.
The Cardinals tacked on four more runs in the sixth after Campbell hit his fourth homerun of the season and Beemer hit the centerfield wall marking his 16th double of year.  With two outs, Weir collected his seventh homerun of the year. 
Miami scored three in the top of the ninth off of Ball State reliever Matt Johnson but Godfrey would end the inning after catching a fly ball to seal the victory.
The Ball State baseball team advances to Game 7 of the winners bracket which will be played Thursday at 4 p.m.  The Cardinals will face the winner of the 7:30 p.m. game versus No. 1 Kent State and No. 8 Central Michigan.