Record-Courier staff report
MUNCIE, Ind. -- It felt like déjå vu at Ball Diamond on Sunday afternoon, as Kent State was unable to hold its lead in the ninth and Ball State walked off to win in back-to-back games, this time taking a 9-8 victory.
The Golden Flashes fall to 30-20 on the season and 14-10 in the conference, while Ball State remains the Mid-American Conference leader at 19-4 and 35-16 overall. Both teams, plus Central Michigan and Miami (Ohio), have clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament.
Ball State grabbed an early 1-0 lead, but Kent State responded in the second and third innings. A double-play ball with the bases loaded in the second plated a run, but it was the only tally in the inning despite three runners on for Kent State with no outs.
In the third, the Flashes scored two on a Zarley Zalewski single and sacrifice fly by Tommy Monnot, but the Cardinals tied the game with two of their own in the bottom of the frame.
The game remained knotted at 3-3 until the boys from Canton GlenOak showed some power when Tommy Monnot hit a solo home run in the fifth and T.J. Sutton followed with a solo shot of his own in the seventh. A Ball State error later in the seventh gave Kent State a 6-3 advantage.
However, the contest was far from over as the Cardinals again matched the Flashes with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-5.
Kent State broke away again with a two-run ninth on two wild pitches to lead 8-5 with three outs left in the game.
But, in similar fashion to Saturday, Ball State rallied, scoring four runs on base hits to walk off in its final home game of the season.
KSU's Brian Clark pitched well in the start, going six innings with five hits, three runs, one walk and six strikeouts.
Eric Dorsch suffered the loss after putting the winning runner on base in the ninth.
John Fasola was a bright spot in the game. He entered with a runner on second and one out and threw just four pitches to get out of the jam. He ended the day after 1 2/3 shutout innings with one hit, no walks and a strikeout.
Offensively, Sutton went 3-for-4 on the day to finish the series batting .500. He scored three of the Flashes' runs and had an RBI.
Monnot went 2-for-4 behind him in the order with a team-high two RBI.
Kent State will travel to Pitt for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Panthers on Tuesday night.