Extra-Innings Needed in Offensive BattleMarch 12, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – CSU’s baseball team recorded a team-high 17 hits, but one Ball State hit made all the difference on Wednesday. The Cardinals’ Wayne Bond belted a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning to help Ball State earn a 9-8 victory at Buccaneer Field. Freshman Derek Smith led the CSU offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs batted in against the Cardinals.
The teams combined to use 10 pitchers in a contest that provided offense early and often. The Buccaneers scored all of their runs in the first three innings of the game, including a six-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning.
Kyle Heyne was the winning pitcher for Ball State (7-6), pitching the final three innings to earn his second victory of the season. Senior Payton Tweddale was given the loss for CSU (5-9) after going four innings and giving up his first earned run of the season on Bond’s home run.
A wild pitch and throwing error put a runner on third for the Cardinals in the top of the first inning, giving Matt Stoeklen a chance to put an RBI single through the left side and give the visiting team in front 1-0. The Buccaneers evened things up in the bottom half of the inning when Smith singled to left field and brought junior Mark Perry from second.
An error in the top of the second inning jumpstarted a three-run rally that helped Ball State regain the lead. Nate Fields gave the Cardinals two runners in scoring position with a double to left center that moved Kory Benbow to third. A hard shot to the shortstop scored Benbow and then Dean Anna gave Ball State bases loaded by drawing his second walk of the day.
Bond took advantage of the situation with a single through the left side, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. With the bases still juiced, Justin Rogers drew a walk to force another run home and give the visitors a three-run advantage.
CSU responded with six runs in the bottom of the second inning to turn a three-run deficit into a three-run lead. Freshman Tom Burkett started the rally with a leadoff single and advanced to second on a ground out by redshirt-junior Michael Obuchowski. After a single by junior Jake Cox, freshman Taylor Black belted a double to right centerfield to bring Burkett home. Perry kept the rally going, singling to right field to score Black and advance Cox to third. Junior Kory Morian then drew a walk to load the bases.
Entering the game as the team leader in batting average, freshman Steve Antolik picked up his 11th RBI of the season in unconventional fashion when he was hit by a pitch, forcing Black into score. Smith then hit his second RBI single of the game, scoring Perry to give the Bucs a one-run lead, 5-4. After a sacrifice fly by redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners brought Morian home, the man who started the inning, Burkett, beat out a groundball to the shortstop for an infield single that scored Antolik and gave CSU a 7-4 lead.
The Cardinals got one run back in the top of the third inning when Benbow scored on a groundout after doubling to lead off the inning and advancing to third on a wild pitch. CSU quickly restored the advantage to six runs in the bottom half of the inning, when Black, Perry and Morian hit three consecutive singles to tally a run and make it 8-4.
After both teams were held scoreless in the fourth inning, Ball State cut the deficit to two runs in the top of the fifth inning when Kolbrin Viteck scored on a wild pitch. The Cardinals moved within one run in the top of the sixth inning when Rogers hit a solo home run to right field that made it an 8-7 ball game.
While the Ball State pitching staff continued to keep the Buccaneers off the board, Tweddale sat Ball State down in order in the top of the seventh inning. Zach Dygert led off the top of the eighth inning with a single for Ball State and was replaced by pinch runner Mark Isenberg. A sacrifice bunt moved Isenberg to second, putting him into scoring position when a groundball found its way through the Bucs defense. Isenberg crossed home plate before the throw could cut him off, tying the game at 8-8.
Tweddale held the Cardinals offense in check in the top of the ninth inning, setting up a Buccaneer rally in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Steve Lynch pinch hit to lead off the inning, beating the first baseman to the bag on a groundball to give CSU a runner on. Cox moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt and he moved to third on an error by Ball State that gave the home team runners on the corners.
The Cardinals then intentionally walked Perry to load the bases and give them a force out at any base. Trying to lay down a safety squeeze bunt, Morian popped out to the pitcher, giving the Bucs two outs with the bases loaded as Antolik stepped into the batter’s box. Heyne ended the rally, however, when he got Antolik to ground out to third base.
With two outs in the top of the inning, Bond then hit what proved to be the game winner when his blast to right center cleared the outfield wall, giving the Cardinals a one-run lead. CSU had one man on with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, but Heyne induced a game-ending double play to give the Cardinals the win.
CSU begins a three-game weekend series with Richmond at 2 p.m. on Friday at Buccaneer Field.Related Item: Box Score