OXFORD, Ohio -- Ball State rallied from a 2-1 deficit midway through the contest with three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to defeat Miami 5-2 Saturday afternoon at McKie Field. Senior Alex Johnson had three hits and scored both runs for the RedHawks.
Miami (17-19, 8-6) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Johnson doubled and Scott Slappey singled on back-to-back pitches. The Cardinal answered, though, in third after a double and single of their own set up a run.
The RedHawks went back ahead in the fourth after Johnson led off with a single and Slappey reached on catcher's interference. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, allowing Ryan Elble to drive in a run when his bouncer to short was misplayed for an error.
But the lead didn't last long. The Cardinals put the first two runners on in the fifth with a hit batter and walk before a double tied the game. After a strikeout, an RBI groundout broke the deadlock, then an infield single made the score 4-2.
The Cardinals added an unearned insurance run in the sixth, but starter T.J. Weir didn't need it. He limited the RedHawks to just seven hits in 8.0 innings, improving to 2-1 on the year. Miles Moeller gave up a pinch-hit single to Nate Bowles to start the ninth, but got the next three batters for his first save.
Miami's Mac Thoreson (3-5) took the loss after surrendering nine hits and five runs (four earned) over 5.1 innings. Charles Zubrod limited the damage in the sixth by getting two outs with the bases loaded, then held the Cardinals scoreless for the next three innings.
Miami threatened late, but left five runners on in the seventh and eighth innings combined.
The two teams will meet on Sunday in the rubber game of the series. First pitch on Walter "Smokey" Alston Day is slated for 1 p.m. oin the seventh and eighth but left five runners on dded three more gain in the sixth ave Ball State the lead for good.