Cards host Golden Flashes in MAC home opener

Starting Lineups

Kent State

Evan Campbell, CF

Jimmy Rider, SS

David Lyon, C

George Roberts 1b,

Nick Hamilton, 3b

Jason Bagoly, DH

T.J. Sutton, RF

Troy Summers, LF

Derek Toadvine, 2b

Ball State

Wes Winkle, CF

Mitch Widau, 2b

T.J. Weir, SS

Cody Campbell, 1b

Dominick Catanzarite, DH

Blake Beemer, LF

Sean Godfrey, RF

Elbert Devarie, 3b

Mitch Overley, C

After being outscored a combined 28-7 over its last two mid-week games, Ball State will host Kent State in the Mid-American Conference home opener Friday.

The Cardinals dropped two of three at Akron in the conference opener last weekend, and will look to get out of their current slump behind the arm of senior right-hander Cal Bowling (2-2, 3.68 ERA). Bowling has put this team on his shoulders this season, working into the seventh inning in each of his six starts. His best start of the season came on March 2 at Missouri when the righty tossed a five-hit, two-run complete game against the Tigers of the Big XII Conference. Bowling has allowed four or fewer runs in five of his six starts. He’s also tops among Cardinals’ starters in strikeouts, with 39.

Junior center fielder Wes Winkle continues to impress with his team-leading .362 batting average and 10-game hitting streak. Winkle extended the streak in the first inning of Wednesday’s game versus Indiana State with a single, and finished the game going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Winkle ranks first among Cardinals in strikeouts, with eight (players with at least 14 starts).

The Cardinals will face senior southpaw David Starn (4-2, 1.99 ERA) in Friday’s series premiere. Starn leads the Golden Flashes in innings pitched, with 40 2/3 and strikeouts, with 42. After struggling out of the gates, Starn helped the Golden Flashes defeat the Huskies of Northern Illinois 12-6 on March 23. Despite surrendering five runs, three of which were earned, Starn found his groove, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced while totaling a season-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings of work, tying his career-mark.

Games 2 and 3 will take place Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Cardinals’ sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir (0-5, 9.35 ERA) will face Golden Flashes’ junior right-hander Ryan Bores (4-2, 4.46 ERA) on Saturday. Sophomore righty Tyler Skulina (2-2, 3.00 ERA) will take the hill for the Golden Flashes on Sunday. Ball State’s starter for Sunday’s series finale has yet to be determined.

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