LSU drops series opener to Ball State
BATON ROUGE, La. - No. 6 LSU's six-game win streak came to a close Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field after the Tigers dropped the series opener to Ball State, 7-1.
With the loss, the Tigers fell to 10-3 on the year, while Ball State improved to 8-7.
Due to the rain forecast, the start time of Game 2 of the series has been moved from 2:00 p.m. CT to 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday night. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live in Baton Rouge on 100.7 FM only. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
Freshman right-hander Alex Lange (1-0) will get the start on the mound Saturday for LSU, and Ball State will counter with junior right-hander sophomore right-hander Colin Brockhouse (1-1).
Junior southpaw Jared Poche' (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season Friday after tossing 5.2 innings and giving up five earned runs on eight hits, striking out four.
Left-hander Kevin Marnon (2-2) earned the win for the Cardinals after surrendering only one run on seven hits, striking out four and walking three. Zach Plesac earned his first save of the season, entering in relief of Marnon and working 3.1 innings, limiting the Tigers to one hit.
"There's not much to say other than Ball State just whipped us tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "They have an excellent program, I've known their coach for a long time, and they've produced a lot of very talented players. They have at least three highly-rated pro prospects on their team right now. I told our players after the game that we're going to have to strap it on for the rest of the weekend, because I can promise you Ball State isn't satisfied with one win. They outplayed us tonight, but it's just one loss, and we're looking forward to coming back out here tomorrow night with a chance to even the series."
Ball State was paced at the plate by catcher Jarett Rindfleisch, who was 3-for-4 with two homers and two RBI, and by rightfielder Alex Call, who was 3-for-4 with one homer and three RBI.
Ball State was the first to get on the board as Rindfleisch led off the top of the second with a home run to left field to give the Cardinals the 1-0 lead. The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the third after second baseman Ryan Spaudling drilled a double into left field and scored on Call's first home run of the season to give Ball State the 3-0 lead after three innings.
In the top of the sixth, Ball State extended its lead to 5-0 after solo home runs by Rindfleisch and infielder Sean Kennedy.
The Tigers answered in the sixth inning, plating their first run of the night after second baseman Cole Freeman ripped a double into left field, which scored third baseman O'Neal Lochridge from first who reached on a two-out single.
Ball State plated two runs in the seventh after a two-out single by Call scored centerfielder Matt Eppers who reached on a single to lead off the inning and first baseman Caleb Stayton doubled to score Call to give the Cardinals a six run lead, their largest of the night.
LSU relief pitchers Doug Norman and Hunter Devall combined for 3.1 innings with three hits, two runs, six strikeouts and one walk.