Ball State throttled Mizzou, 14-5 in game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday. It seemed as if no matter what pitcher the Tigers put on the hill against Ball State, the Cardinals hammered the ball, and it showed on the scoreboard.
Ball State catcher Zach Dygert performed exceptionally well at the plate for the Cardinals, going 2-4 while driving in four runs. Leadoff hitter Jeremy Hazlebaker also hit well for Ball State, reaching base six times in seven trips to the plate and driving in one run. Outfielder Kory Benbow chipped in with five hits and three RBI, including a two run home run.
The Cardinals starter, junior Brad Piatt, looked good in his five innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out two and walking four. Ball State's bullpen combined to throw four innings, and although they gave up four runs, they held on to the eleven run lead their offense gave them.
Sophomore Kelly Fick got the start for Mizzou, and did not fare well. Fick failed to get past the 2nd inning, going 1 2/3 while allowing seven runs on nine hits.
Fick's replacement, Andrew Mueller did not see much better luck. The junior relief pitcher gave up three runs of his own on four hits in his two innings of work.
The Tigers struggled again at the plate; only collecting ten hits off of the Ball State pitchers. While they did score five runs, one more than the first game of the series, they were not helped by the fact that Mizzou pitchers simply could not string together outs.
It certainly didn't help that when the Tigers got men aboard, they continued to fail to push runners across the plate. Mizzou left fourteen runners on base, a problem that has plagued the team all season. Ryan Lollis was guilty of leaving five runners on base by himself.
Gusts of wind swirled throughout Taylor Stadium for a majority of the game, and it was evident on the playing field. Baseballs were flying out of the park, as the teams combined to hit three home runs.
The Tigers hope to get a better performance in game two of the doubleheader, which pits senior Ian Berger against freshman Adam Quinn. Mizzou will look to get back on track and go into Sunday with a record of 5-8.