MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ohio Baseball team (16-29, 10-13 MAC) was defeated in a doubleheader by host Ball State (33-17, 17-5 MAC) this afternoon at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex, suffering a 5-0 setback in game one and dropping a 6-5 decision in game two.
Ball State junior right-handed starting pitcher John Baker and junior southpaw reliever Lukas Jaksich combined to throw the first nine-hitting no-hitter in the history of the Cardinals' program, blanking the Bobcats, 5-0.
Baker went seven innings, fanning nine while permitting four walks en route to earning the win. He improved to 7-1 on the season. Jaksich tossed the final two frames, striking out three and walking one.
The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the home half of the third. Junior shortstop Noah Powell and freshman third baseman Justin Conant coaxed back-to-back one out walks to get things started. Junior center fielder Aaron Simpson doubled to right center to drive in Powell for the game's first run, then Conant tagged up and scored from third on a sacrifice fly to right by junior second baseman William Baker.
Ball State tacked on a third run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Freshman left fielder Mack Murphy produced the only multi-hit effort of the game, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the way for the Cardinals. William Baker also finished the contest with a pair of RBIs.
Senior first baseman Rudy Rott (Holmen, Wis.) drew two walks for Ohio.
Redshirt freshman right-handed starting pitcher Jack Liberatore (Greensburg, Pa.) took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats, falling to 6-5 on the season. He struck out three while giving up five earned runs on five hits and five walks. Freshman lefty Joe Rock (Aliquippa, Pa.) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. He struck out three and allowed just one hit and two walks.
Ohio could not protect a 5-1 lead after three innings of play as Ball State rallied to sweep the weekend series from the Bobcats with a 6-5 win.
The Bobcats landed the game's first punch in the top of the first as sophomore shortstop Treyben Funderburg (Beavercreek, Ohio) drew a leadoff walk and scored one out later on a triple down the left field line by Rott.
Ohio's lead was short lived, however, as the Cardinals tied it up in the home half of the opening frame. Junior right fielder Ross Messina reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a two-out double to right center by senior first baseman John Ricotta.
The Bobcats responded to the challenge by plating two in the second to take a 3-1 lead. After sophomore center fielder Sebastian Fabik (Lebanon, Ohio) drew a one-out walk, junior third baseman Trevor Hafner (Perrysburg, Ohio) singled to right to put runners on the corners. One out later, Funderburg drove both in with a two-RBI single up the middle that gave Ohio the lead back.
Ohio's advantage swelled to 5-1 in the third. Rott led off with a base hit to left, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Redshirt sophomore second baseman Michael Richardson (Cambridge, Md.) followed with a walk to put two on with nobody out and chase Ball State sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Kyle Nicolas from the contest. Two outs later, Fabik smacked a triple to right center to clear the bases and give the Bobcats a four-run lead.
The Cardinals began chipping away at Ohio's lead in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. Redshirt senior designated hitter Griffin Hulecki served up a sacrifice fly in the fourth, then Ricotta came up with an RBI double in the fifth to make it a two-run affair.
Ball State then swung the game in its favor with a three-run effort in the sixth. Freshman Ryan Peltier gave the Cardinals life when he reached by way of an Ohio error with two outs. After Conant beat out a bunt single, Simpson tied the game with a two-run triple to left center. Simpson then scored the go-ahead run on a bunt single to third by William Baker.
Junior right-handed reliever Nolan Gazouski then kept Ohio off the scoreboard in the final three frames. The Bobcats stranded two runners on base in the seventh, then went down in order in both the eighth and the ninth as Gazouski locked up the victory for the Cardinals and earned the win on the mound to improve to 1-2 on the year. He struck out five while allowing just one hit and one walk.
Ricotta went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs while William Baker finished 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI to lead Ball State's bats. Simpson also achieved a multi-hit game for the Cardinals, tallying a triple and a single, driving in two runs and scoring two more.
Three Bobcats posted multi-hit games. Funderburg led the way with a 3-for-4 effort that included a triple, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored. Fabik went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored while Rott finished 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
Senior right-handed starting pitcher Kenny Ogg (Indianapolis, Ind.) suffered the loss on the mound for Ohio, falling to 3-7. He struck out five but gave up six runs -- three of which were earned -- on 10 hits and a walk. Sophomore left-handed reliever Brett Manis (Port Huron, Mich.) pitched two spotless frames of relief, striking out four.
Ohio will play host to its final home game of the 2019 season on Tuesday (May 14), welcoming longtime rival Marshall to Bob Wren Stadium for a 6 p.m. ET matchup. The Bobcats and the Thundering Herd will be facing off for the third time overall this season and second time in Athens.