Baseball hosts Ball State

Rsatkow and Rsatkow

As the Falcons head back into Mid-American Conference play this weekend against Ball State, they will look to finally build momentum that can be transferred into a winning streak.

The Falcons are 2-8 their last 10 games, including a 2-4 mark in MAC play.

One reason for the Falcons’ recent slump has been because their offense has slowed down dramatically from earlier in the season, as they have scored only 43 runs their last 10 games.

This 10 game stretch was preceded by a weekend sweep of Eastern Kentucky in which the Falcons scored 37 runs in the three games.

Although they have given up just over six runs a game the last 10 games, the team’s pitching has gotten progressively stronger as the season has gone along, in particular Brennan Smith, today’s projected starter.

Although on the year Smith has a 1-3 record with a 6.96 earned-run average, in his last three starts, he has thrown 19.2 innings with 19 strikeouts and a 2.34 earned-run average.

Smith has been plagued by poor defense behind him, as he has given up six unearned runs in that time.

The big story of the weekend will be center fielder T.J. Blanton, as he looks to extend his current 18-game hitting streak.

He leads the team with a .434 batting average and seven home runs, and is the only Falcon slugging over .500.

The Falcons will welcome Ball State to town this weekend, and although the Cardinals’ record is 11-16 on the year, they stand at 5-1 in MAC play.

The Falcons lead the all-time series against Ball State 52-42-2, including a 30-13-1 mark at home.

Their starting rotation is led by Kolbrin Vitek, who has posted a 3.55 ERA in seven starts on the year.

He is also the team’s leader on offense, posting team highs with a .412 batting average, seven home runs, 31 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .280, with 24 home runs in their 27 games.

Their team earned-run average is 5.42. Today’s first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday’s games are each scheduled for 1 p.m.