BALL STATE RELEASE

MUNCIE, Ind. – Miami held the Ball State baseball team scoreless over the final five and two-thirds innings Sunday to earn a 6-5 victory and take two out of three games in this weekend’s series at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.

Landon Stephens’ solo home run in the top of the seventh inning broke a tie game and proved to be the game-winner for the RedHawks (21-11, 8-4 MAC).

Ball State (17-17, 5-7 MAC) threatened to even things up in the ninth inning, putting runners at first and second. Junior John Ricotta lined a two-out shot that was headed through the right side before second baseman Christian Tejada dove to his left to snag it and preserve the Miami win.

Ball State designated hitter Griffin Hulecki hit a three-run homer in the first inning and reached base four times in the game, while Jeff Riedel went 3-for-4 on the day.

Cardinals starter Drey Jameson pitched into the sixth inning, leaving the game with a 5-4 lead, seven strikeouts and a runner still on base. That runner eventually came home to score on an infield hit from Adrian Texidor to even the score at 5-5 through six innings.

Stephens’ home run one inning later off BSU reliever Cody Freed put Miami ahead for good. His shot to left field just cleared the wall and was barely over the outstretched gloved of a leaping William Baker.

Ball State hit Miami starter Gus Graham for five runs in 3.1 innings to get into the RedHawks’ bullpen. Hulecki’s three-run shot with two outs in the first gave the Cardinals a 3-1 advantage, and BSU re-took the lead at 5-4 in the fourth on RBIs from Noah Powell and Chase Sebby.

The Cardinals could have gotten more out of the fourth, but Miami reliever Cole Gnetz came on to strike out back-to-back hitters with the bases loaded. It was the second straight inning Ball State left the bases full on the way to 11 stranded runners for the day.

The Cardinals later had runners at first and third with one out in the sixth but could not score. Gnetz eventually struck out six before giving way to Jack Corbell and Shane Smith to finish off the victory for Miami.

Offensively, the RedHawks again did much of their damage via the long ball, with homers from Ross Haffey, Will Vogelgesang and Stephens. Haffey hit six home runs in the three-game series.

Ball State catcher Chase Sebby picked up two hits in the game and also threw out a pair of base runners back-to-back in the seventh inning. Sebby has now cut down the last eight runners to attempt to steal against him.

The Cardinals will go on the road this week to visit Indiana for a 6:05 p.m. first pitch Wednesday and Bowling Green for a three-game series over the weekend.