By: Roberto De La Rosa-Finch – Staff Writer
The Dayton Flyers baseball team picked up a 3-1 win Sunday to go 1-3 in a weekend road series against the Ball State Cardinals in Muncie, Indiana.
Dayton’s season-long struggled continued in Indiana in the face of the Cardinals’ solid pitching and explosive offensive. Ball State outscored the Flyers 26-7 in the series.
The Flyers (4-14) had won three of their last six games heading into the Ball State series, with wins over High Point, Miami (Ohio) and Oakland.
Along that stretch there were moments that showed that the Flyers are capable of creating offensive opportunities. Since the High Point win, a 5-1 result on March 6, team stolen bases have doubled, and RBIs have more than doubled.
The problem that arises is that there is an inconsistency in runs produced, in addition to the lack of pitching. This weekend’s series exemplified this obstacle that the Flyers have yet to overcome.
In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, Dayton got off to a quick start. In the first inning, after a double to center by redshirt junior centerfielder Glenn Jones, junior shortstop Robbie Doring brought him in with a, RBI double of his own. Dayton then went up 2-0 in the fourth, after a RBI double by junior first baseman Mark Giesler to bring in senior designated hitter Aaron Huesman.
But after the Flyers held the lead entering the fifth inning, the Cardinals exploded in the next two innings. The Cardinals strung together two singles, three doubles, and a two-run home run to place them on top 9-2.
The Flyers’ efforts late were futile, for only one run was produced and they fell 9-3.
Ball State took their momentum into the second game on Friday and, accompanied by stellar pitching, won the game 6-1. Cardinals’ starter Colin Brockhouse pitched six innings, only giving up one earned run and striking out eight. In the first and third innings, Ball State first baseman Caleb Stayton had RBI singles. Later on in the fifth, centerfielder Matt Eppers and third baseman Sean Kennedy both had two-RBI doubles to put the Flyers away.
Saturday’s game was sealed in the bottom of the third inning. After a runner reached home on a throwing error and then a wild pitch by the Flyers’ junior catcher Matt Poland and senior pitcher Sam Brunner respectively, the Cardinals’ bats got hot.
Ball State’s Caleb Stayton and Alex Maloney both crushed two-run homers. Then, after a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded, right fielder Alex Call hit a three-run home run to left field to put the Cardinals up 10-0. The sturdy contact pitching—Dayton managed eight hits but got no runs to show for it—from Brendan Burns and the Ball State bullpen sealed the 10-0 victory.
But, despite losing five in a row, the Flyers turned things around Sunday afternoon. Dayton got right to business in the first with two RBI singles up the middle by Jones and Giesler. After getting up two runs, Poland hit a double in the third to bring Giesler home.
Pitcher Zach Beaver picked up his first win of the season by utilizing his seven men behind him in the field. His six fly outs and eleven groundouts helped Dayton come out with a 3-1 win.
The Flyers will now focus on beating a Toledo team with a similar record (3-15-1) this Tuesday in Dayton at 3 p.m. before beginning Atlantic 10 conference play at home on Friday against Saint Louis.