USI loses heartbreaker to Ball State in 11 innings

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MUNCIE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Baseball lost a heartbreaker in 11 innings to Ball State University, 7-6, Tuesday afternoon in Muncie, Indiana. USI watched its record go to 7-18, while Ball State goes to 18-6.
 
USI junior first baseman Jack Ellis (Jeffersonville, Indiana) put the Eagles up in the second inning with a RBI-double for the 1-0 lead. Ball State tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom half of the third before junior centerfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan) drove in USI’s second run of the game in the fourth for the 2-1 lead.
 
The Cardinals responded with a two-spot in the bottom of the fourth for the 3-2 margin and would hold that lead until the top of the seventh. USI regained the lead for a third time when junior designated hitter Tucker Ebest (Austin, Texas) doubled in a pair of runs for a 4-3 advantage.
 
The Eagles held the 4-3 lead until the bottom of the ninth when the Cardinals scratched a run across to tie the score, 4-4, on a USI error and force extra frames.
 
USI had the advantage early in the extra innings by taking command 6-4. USI junior rightfielder Steven Molinet  (Elberfeld, Indiana) gave the Eagles back the lead for the fourth time with a RBI-double, while Ellis put USI up two, 6-4, with a sacrifice fly.
 
Ball State, however, was not done and tied the score, 6-6, in the bottom of the 10th, scoring the tying run on a wild pitch and set the stage in the 11th. The Eagles stranded a pair of runners on in the top of the 11th before the Cardinals got the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the frame.
 
On the mound, junior right-hander Zach Sliger (Franklin, Kentucky) took the loss for the Eagles. Sliger (0-1) allowed one run on one hit and struck out two in an inning of work after entering to get the Eagles out of the 10th.
 
On a staff day on the mound, the Eagles received strong relief pitching performances from junior right-hander Trent Robinson (Louisville, Kentucky), who allowed a single run in three innings of work; junior right-hander Corey Anderson (Linton, Indiana), who posted two-plus scoreless innings; and junior right-hander Matthew Moore (Newburgh, Indiana), who struck out four and allowed an unearned run in three innings of action.
 
Up Next for the Eagles:  
The Eagles resume Ohio Valley Conference action with a visit to Lindenwood University for a three-game series this weekend. The first pitch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is slated for 1 p.m. each day in St. Charles, Missouri.
 
USI, which started OVC play 0-3, trails in the all-time series with Lindenwood, 4-1, since the 2020 season when the Lions joined the Great Lakes Valley Conference. All five of the previous contests were played in St. Charles.
 
Lindenwood, currently, is 3-21 overall and also began its OVC schedule with three-straight losses at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The Lion host the University of Missouri for a 3 p.m. contest Wednesday prior to welcoming USI this weekend.