Second Annual First Merchants Ballpark Fan Day Set For Saturday

MUNCIE, Ind. – For the second-straight year, Ball State baseball will host First Merchants Ballpark Fan Day as the Cardinals take on Toledo in the second game of a three-game Mid-American Conference weekend series this Saturday, May 6, at 1 p.m.

It’s always a fun and entertaining trip to the complex, but this event will pack an additional promotional punch. Thanks to First Merchants Bank, the following deals and promotions will be in play:

-The first 200 spectators to arrive will receive a lunch package good for a hot dog, chips and Pepsi drink

-There will be drawings for prize packs during each inning

-$5,000 to a lucky winner if the Cards hit a grand slam

-Fans 10 and younger can register to be one of three participants to toss out the ceremonial first pitch

As always with baseball games at Ball State, admission and parking is free of charge with games taking place at Ball Diamond inside the First Merchants Ballpark Complex. For additional details, call 765-285-1474.

For the most up-to-date information on the Ball State baseball team, please follow@BallStateSports@BallStateBB and @CoachMaloney.

Ball State’s Szews and Walsh Named AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans

MUNCIE, Ind. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced the members of the 2017 AVCA All-American Team Monday morning. Freshman Matt Szews and junior Matt Walsh were named to as AVCA All-American Honorable Mention.

“I am excited that Matt Szews and Matt Walsh have both been selected as AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans,” said head coach Joel Walton. “Both players played significant roles in our team’s success in 2017.  We look forward to both Walsh and Szews returning to compete next season.  They will provide a strong starting point for what our team plans to accomplish in 2018.”

Szews finished the season with a team high 357 kills, a .237 hitting percentage and averaged 3.37 kills per set. Szews also led the team in service aces with 39. He added 170 digs and 66 total blocks on the season. The left-handed outside attacker was named MIVA Co-Freshman of the Year along with be named to the All-MIVA First Team and All-Freshman Team. He sits at the top in school history (during rally scoring era) with 0.37 service aces per set along with third place in school history (during rally scoring era) in kills per set.

Walsh rounded out the season sitting at first in the nation with a .449 hitting percentage. He was also second in the conference with 1.19 blocks per set. The Chicago native finished the season with 223 kills for an average of 2.24 kills per set. He also added 125 total blocks, 26 service aces and 13 digs. Walsh was honored as part of the All-MIVA First Team at the conclusion of the season. Walsh is currently third in school history (during rally scoring era) with 336 career block assists. He is also sixth in school history (during rally scoring era) with a .409 career hitting percentage.

Szews, Walsh and the Cardinal squad finished the 2017 season with a 19-10 record and 9-7 in MIVA play.

For the most up-to-date news on the Ball State men’s volleyball team, please follow @BallStateSports and @BallStateMVB.

Ball State Baseball’s Caleb Stayton Selected as a Finalist for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Ball State baseball player Caleb Stayton was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Stayton, a native of Goshen, Indiana, was the only player from the Mid-American Conference to earn a spot on the prestigious list. In the classroom, Stayton has qualified for the dean’s list every semester he has been at Ball State. Last spring, he was named a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American. A Presidential Scholar at Ball State, Stayton posted a 4.0 GPA in the fall, currently carries a 3.91 cumulative GPA and is expected to graduate this spring.

Stayton organizes all of the community service events for the Ball State baseball team. He has organized events with the Muncie Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Secret Families, Habitat for Humanity, the Youth Opportunity Center and Bargain Box. When the Cardinals took a trip to the Dominican Republic in the fall of 2015, Stayton and the rest of the team took time out from their trip for several volunteer activities

On the field, Stayton leads the Cardinals in on-base percentage (.451) and ranks second in batting average (.336) this spring. He was named to the 2016 ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region First Team and 2016 All-Mid-American Conference First Team. He was also a semifinalist for the 2016 Gregg Olson Award. Stayton ranked 10th nationally in RBIs (71) a year ago and led the MAC in batting average (.377), RBIs, walks (42) and on-base percentage (.482).

Finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates announced in March. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote daily on the Senior CLASS Award website through June 7 (CLICK HERE). Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.

This year’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2017 College World Series® in June. For more information on all of the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

The Cardinals (22-22, 9-9 MAC) return to First Merchants Ballpark Complex this weekend for a three-game league series against Toledo. Game one is slated for Friday, May 5, at 3 p.m.

For the most up-to-date information on the Ball State baseball team, please follow @BallStateSports, @BallStateBB and @CoachMaloney.

Ball State Baseball Cardinals Fall to Indiana in Extra Innings, 3-2

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.

For the most up-to-date information on the Ball State baseball team, please follow @BallStateSports@BallStateBB and@CoachMaloney.

Ball State Softball Sweeps Northern Illinois with more Come-From-Behind Magic

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State softball team continued to show its never-say-die attitude Tuesday afternoon, earning a pair of come-from-behind wins over Mid-American Conference rival Northern Illinois at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.

Trailing 2-0 in the opener, the Cardinals (23-17, 7-1 MAC) used a second-inning two-run home run from sophomore catcher Olivia Huffman (Woodbury, Minn./South Dakota) to tie the score. Freshman third baseman Janae Hogg (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral)followed with a solo shot in the fifth to give the game its final score of 3-2. It was the fourth game-winning RBI for Hogg in five games.

The Huskies (16-14, 4-4 MAC) used a second-inning grand slam to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the nightcap, only to see the Cardinals chip away at the advantage with one run in the third and three more in the sixth. Senior first baseman Amanda Arnett (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) then provided Ball State’s third walk-off win in MAC play with a two-run homer to right-center field in the bottom of the seventh to hand the Cardinals a 6-4 victory.

In the circle, the Cardinals received another solid performance in the opener from junior Carolyn Wilmes (Evansville, Ind./Matre Dei) who picked up her 10th win of the season by limiting the Huskies to five hits and a pair of first-inning runs. Wilmes, who struck out three in the game, held NIU to just three base runners after the first inning.

In the second game, freshman Alyssa Rothwell (Ashville, Ohio/Teays Valley) settled in after a shaky start, limiting the Huskies to just two base runners after the second inning. She retired NIU in order in the third, fourth and seventh innings, while getting a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to face the minimum number of batters in the sixth. She also struck out seven batters over her 7.0 innings of work to improve to 4-1 on the year.

With the two wins, Ball State improves to 6-0 at home and ups its current winning streak to six games. The Cardinals also took over sole possession of first place in the MAC standings with a 7-1 league record as Ohio (6-2 MAC) split a doubleheader at Kent State.

Next up for the Ball State is a three-game weekend showdown with MAC East Division leading Ohio. The teams are scheduled to play a 3 p.m. single game Friday and a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.

GAME 1 RECAP: Ball State 3 – Northern Illinois 2

Much like last Saturday’s series opener versus Miami, the Cardinals found themselves in an early hole as Norther Illinois jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of RBI singles in the top of the first inning.

However, the Cardinals were able to battle back and tie the score in the bottom of the second thanks in part to a NIU defensive miscue. Sophomore designated player Madison Lee (Cerritos, Calif./Cerritos) opened the inning by reaching base on an error from the Huskies second baseman. Two outs later, Huffman made NIU pay for the miscue with her first Ball State home run, a two-run blast over the First Merchants sign on the center field fence.

Behind Wilmes’ strong pitching, the score remained tied until the bottom of the fifth, when Hogg blasted a home run long enough to rival former Ball State All-American and current Cardinals assistant coach Jenny Gilbert. Her solo shot to left-center field was gone as soon as it left the bat and traveled an estimated 270 feet.

Wilmes took care of the rest, including retiring the side in order in the top of the seventh on three consecutive groundouts back to herself.

GAME 2 REACP: Ball State 6 – Northern Illinois 2

After walking the first two batters she face in the game, Rothwell was able to get out of a first inning jam with a pair of strikeouts. Unfortunately, she was unable to do the same in the second inning as a one-out error and single, followed by a two-out walk loaded the bases. NIU’s Bekah Harnish followed by depositing a 2-2 pitch over the center field fence to give Northern Illinois a 4-0 lead.

However, like the game before it, the Cardinals retaliated with six unanswered runs starting in the third inning. Junior second baseman Maddy Labrador (Lexington, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) led off the inning with a triple and scored on NIU’s first critical error of the game. On a routine popup to shallow center field, the Huskies shortstop caught the ball, but instead of throwing home, lost her grip on the ball and threw it into the first base dugout allowing Labrador to score.

The Cardinals capitalized on two more NIU errors in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 4-4. Junior first baseman Danae King (Glendale, Ariz./Phoneix College) opened the frame with a single up the middle. Freshman right fielder Kennedy Wynn (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) drew a walk in the next at bat, to put sophomore pinch runner Aeshia Miles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill) on second.

The Huskies shortstop then misplayed a routine grounder by Arnett to load the bases. The Huskies looked to get the first out of the inning when junior pinch hitter Cadie O’Donnell (Salina, Kan./Barton CC) slapped the ball to short, but this time a throwing error by the NIU shortstop on the force play at home allowed both Miles and Wynn to score.

With a pair of runners in scoring position, Huffman drew her league-leading 23rd walk of the season to set up a one-out RBI single from freshman left fielder Haley Dominique (Oregon, Ohio/Clay) which tied the score at 4-4.

After Rothwell retired the Huskies in order in the top of the seventh, the Cardinals came up with some more walk-off magic to end the game. Lee singled to open the inning, and was replaced by freshman pinch runner Tara Morey (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine). The Cardinals looked to play a little small ball to push the run across, as Wynn laid down her second sacrifice bunt of the game to move Morey into scoring position.

With a runner in scoring position, the Cardinals only needed a hit to win the game, and a hit they got as Arnett blasted her third home run of the season over the fence in left field for Ball State’s third walk-off win in five games.

For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB, @CoachCBartlett & @BallStateSports / Instagram: ballstatesb / Facebook: BallStateSoftball.

Game One of Ball State-Ohio Baseball Series Postponed

MUNCIE, Ind. – Due to rainy conditions in the area Friday afternoon, today’s Ball State baseball game against Ohio has been postponed.

The two teams will now play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Game one on Saturday will start at either 12 or 1 p.m.

For the most up-to-date information on the Ball State baseball team, please follow @BallStateSports,@BallStateBB and @CoachMaloney.

Softball’s Series Opener Against Miami Postponed Due To Weather

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State softball’s Mid-American Conference series opener versus Miami, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, has been postponed due to weather. The Cardinals and RedHawks will now play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single game Sunday at noon at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.

For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB, @CoachCBartlett & @BallStateSports / Instagramballstatesb / Facebook: BallStateSoftball.