BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Matt Lloyd hit a towering home run to right field in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift host Indiana to a 3-2 decision over the Ball State baseball team Tuesday night at Bart Kaufman Field.
The loss spoiled a terrific outing for Ball State (11-18) starting pitcher John Baker. The freshman allowed two runs in the bottom of the first, but settled down to keep Indiana (15-11-2) off the scoreboard the ensuing five innings. At one point, Baker retired 14 consecutive Hoosiers. Baker’s final stat line read 6.0+ innings pitched, four hits, two runs and six strikeouts.
Junior Jeff Riedel jump-started the Ball State offense with a two-out RBI triple in the fourth inning. The Cardinals finally tied the score in the eighth thanks to a bases loaded hit batter. However, a ground ball double play got Indiana out of the inning without any further damage.
Indiana threatened to take the lead right back in the bottom of the eighth inning, but senior pitcher BJ Butler stranded an Indiana base runner at third base.
Neither team threatened in the extra innings until Lloyd hit his sixth home run of the season. The designated hitter finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Junior Colin Brockhouse reached base three times for the Cardinals and scored once.
Ball State was aiming for its first win in Bloomington since 2013. The two teams will meet again in three weeks time on April 25 at Victory Field in Indianapolis. For tickets to that contest, please visit indyindians.com.
The Cardinals return to league action this Friday for the first of a three-game set at Western Michigan. Game one on April 7 is scheduled for 3 p.m.