Valparaiso, Ind. - Ball State used an 11-hit attack to defeat Valpo 9-5. Kevin Perri had two hits, including a double, and added an RBI for the Crusaders (7-12). Josh Piazza had two RBIs and Mike Arensdorff had one RBI for Valpo.
Ball State's Marc Franz, who began the scoring with a two-run homer to center field in the first inning, went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Mike Sullivan, who reached base in all five plate appearances, had two hits. Also garnering two-hit games for the Cardinals were Kyle Dygert (one RBI) and Jon Byerly (one RBI).
Franz also delivered a clutch hit in the third inning, bringing Sullivan home with a single through the left side of the infield to extend the Cardinals' lead to 3-0.
Perri's RBI double over the left fielder's head put Valpo on the scoreboard in the third, plating Jeff Rickert who led off the frame with a single.
Ball State (17-9), which owns a nine-game win streak, increased its lead to 6-1 with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth. A wild pitch accounted for the fourth-inning tally, and Dygert's RBI single and Chris Pestle's fielder's choice groundout produced the pair of fifth-inning runs.
Valpo took advantage of three Cardinal errors in the seventh to cut its deficit to 6-3. With one out, Korey Pulluaim reached on an error by the pitcher and advanced to second when the second baseman dropped the shortstop's throw at second base. Another error by the shortstop on Perri's ground ball scored Pulluaim. Arensdorff followed with a line-drive RBI single to right center.
A third base throwing error on a sacrifice bunt allowed two Ball State runners to cross home plate in the eighth. Byerly's RBI single increased the Cardinals' advantage to 9-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, Piazza's two-run single pulled Valpo within 9-5.
Kyle Obenauf (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits in 4 innings. The righthander fanned five and walked two. Luke Behning (2-1) earned the victory, yielding one earned run on four hits in 5 innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Valpo hosts Saint Joseph's (Ind.) on Thursday beginning at 3 p.m.