MUNCIE, Ind. _ Shayne Ridley smashed a pair of two-run home runs and Matt Wood blasted another two-run shot to lead Ball State to an 11-7 win over visiting Kent State in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was cancelled due to rain.
The Golden Flashes dropped to 7-11 overall (0-1 MAC), while the Cardinals improved to 12-8, 1-0.
Kent State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Sam Crea's solo home run to centerfield. However, Ball State exploded in the third inning with six runs.
Ridley hit a two-run blast to right to get the Cardinals on the board. Three straight singles, a Kent State error and Wood's two-run homer gave Ball State a 6-1 lead.
The Flashes cut the deficit to four in the fourth, when Alex Marconi doubled to center and scored on Dave Mattle's single to center.
The Golden Flashes threatened again in the fifth when Cary Zamilski drew a two-out walk and advanced to second on Jess Bechard's single. But Marconi flied out to center to end the threat.
Kent State tied the game in the sixth. Ty Carpenter walked to lead off the inning, but pinch-runner Tom Martin was retired on Mattle's fielder's choice. John VanBenschoten followed with a two-run home run to left to cut Ball State's advantage to 6-4.
Crea was hit by a pitch, then Les Brock crushed a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left-center to tie the game at 6-6.
Ben Galbreath replaced Kent State starting pitcher Matt Guerrier to begin the Ball State sixth, and Wood promptly greeted him with a double down the right-field line.
Galbreath appeared on the verge of getting out of the inning unscathed when he struck out the next two Cardinals. But Ben Lassiter grounded one through the middle to plate Wood with the go-ahead run.
Ridley clobbered the very next offering over the fence in left to build the advantage to 9-6. A two-run double by Jeremy Ridley later in the inning pushed the margin to 11-6.
The Golden Falshes kept things interesting in the seventh.
Bechard singled to left to begin the inning, and Marconi reached on an error as Bechard took third. Pinch-hitter Geoff Nehrenz hit into a double play, before Mattle's RBI single chased home Marconi with the final Kent State run.
The Golden Flashes will play two games today at Northern Illinois.
Ball State 11, Kent State 7
(At Ball State)
KENT STATE 010 104 1 _ 7 8 1
BALL STATE 006 005 x _ 11 12 2
Guerrier, Galbreath (6), Adams (6) & Marconi. Minix, Speicher (6) & Kessick.
WP _ Speicher (2-1); LP _ Galbreath (0-1).