Ball State too much for ETSU

By Wes Holtsclaw

   JOHNSON CITY -- The Ball State Cardinals were banging baseballs all over Cardinal Park. It caused a problem for the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, who had a hard time grabbing bases.
   Led by six-foot-five freshman pitcher Ryan DeGeeter and a pair of two-run homers from Kyle Dygert and Brad Miller in the third inning, Ball State came away with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.
   The Bucs won Tuesday night's battle, 9-8.
   "There's really no way to look at it, they just flat out beat us tonight," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. "They are a quality ballclub, well-coached and have tremendous athletes. They just played better than we did tonight.
   "They got some timely hits that got us in trouble early. It got them in scoring position and they had the one big inning on us," he said. "That's pretty much the difference in the game."
   The Bucs took a 1-0 lead after an opening solo shot from Matt Traylor in the bottom of the first inning.
   Ball State got its third-inning rally going after Mike Sullivan reached on an error. Dygert came around with a two-run double, before Miller sent one over the left-center wall.
   Kiel Holman scored on a single and error from Jason Bucholtz in the fourth inning, and again in the eighth inning after his double set up Sullivan with an RBI triple.
   The Bucs were kept off base during the majority of the game, but Shane Byrne took advantage of a Greg Roberts double with an RBI single in the sixth inning to provide the team's other run.
   The Cardinals got nine strikeouts from their pitching rotation led by DeGeeter.
   "He's just a freshman, but he's a big kid who throws strikes and keeps the ball down in the strike zone and it was tough on our hitters," said Skole.
   "I thought they did a pretty good job of keeping us off balance. We couldn't put anything together consecutively back-to-back and that hurt us," he said. "We didn't have a lot of opportunities to score runs, and when we did, our base runners got caught in plays."
   Ball State got 11 hits during Wednesday night's game, giving up seven to East Tennessee.
   Buccaneer pitcher David Yates picked up his first loss of the season after giving up five runs off six hits with only one strikeout.
   ETSU has a big week coming up beginning with a weekend series against a top-25 unit and SoCon favorite in UNC-Greensboro beginning Friday.
   The Bucs host Tennessee on Thursday at 7 p.m.
   "We're excited about this upcoming week," Skole said. "Greensboro is ranked among the best teams in the country, and they are at the top of our league."
   "We've got our work cut out for us. It's going to be a big week and we've got Tennessee here. It's nice to be at home for a little while. I wish it were a little warmer."