Record-Courier staff report
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Kent State battled all day and looked to capture a comeback win, but Ball State had other plans as the Cardinals mounted a walk-off win to take the game 5-4 Saturday and clinch the series victory.
The Cardinals (34-16, 18-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third before the Golden Flashes (30-19, 14-9) struck with two-out base hits to tie the game.
In the fourth, Kent State's T.J. Sutton, Sawyer Polen and Jeff Revesz all singled to plate the team's first runs. Curtis Olvey then knocked in a run with a base hit before a fly ball ended the inning.
The Flashes tied the game similarly in the fifth when Jon Wilson led off with a single, stole second and, with two outs, Zarley Zalewski singled him home.
Despite scattered opportunities in the later innings, it wasn't until the top of the ninth that the 3-3 tie was broken. Kent State took its first lead of the series after Olvey was hit by a pitch then came home on a Wilson double.
But the home team didn't stay down long. After a quick first out in the bottom of the ninth, an error put a runner on. A double and intentional walk loaded the bases before a full-count walk tied the game at 4-4. With the bases still loaded and one out, the Cardinals' next batter hit a soft single into centerfield that handed them the game and the series.
KSU's Eric Dorsch suffered the loss by pitching the ninth, allowing two hits, one earned run and two walks. Nick Jensen-Clagg had a good start, going six innings with five hits, three runs and two walks. He struck out a batter in every inning, including two in the sixth to finish the day with seven total. Michael Clark filled in two innings with one hit, three walks and one strikeout.
Wilson remained a menace for the Cardinals in the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 for the second straight day. Sutton and Polen added two hits each.
The Golden Flashes will look to take a game back in the series finale today. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.