Tag Archives: RPI

Taylor, Indiana University Southeast, Earlham win conference tournaments

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

NAIA’s Taylor and Indiana University Southeast moved on in postseason play as did NCAA Division III’s Earlham during the week of May 9-15.
The Crossroads League crowned Taylor as tournament champion and IU Southeast prevailed in the River States Conference tournament.
The NAIA Opening Round was slated for May 16-19 at 10 sites. Taylor is a site host and the No. 3 seed in a field which features No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.), No. 2 Northwestern Ohio, No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 5 Bryan (Tenn.).
IU Southeast is the No. 2 seed in the Santa Barbara Bracket with No. 1 and host Westmont, No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 5 Antelope Valley (Calif.).
By edging Rose-Hulman 10-9 Saturday in Kokomo, Earlham reigned as Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions. The Quakers qualified for regional play and will be in a four-team field hosted by Lynchburg (Va.) and also including Birmingham (Ala.)-Southern and Salve Regina (R.I.). Action starts May 20.
In junior college play, Vincennes qualified for the Mid-West Athletic Conference tournament. The Trailblazers are to meet Danville Area on Wednesday, May 18 at The Corn Crib in Normal, Ill.
The 2022 season has concluded for 25 of the state’s 38 baseball-playing schools.
NCAA Division I is heading into the final week of the regular season.
Winners of weekend series were Indiana (2-1 vs. Minnesota), Notre Dame (2-1 vs. Pittsburgh), Purdue (2-1 at Northwestern) and Purdue Fort Wayne (2-0 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee and also 1-1 at Wright State).
Ball State went 2-2 at Ohio while Evansville was 1-2 at Dallas Baptist, Valparaiso 1-2 vs. Bradley, Butler 0-3 vs. Xavier and Indiana State 0-3 at Southern Illinois.
In the latest D1Baseball.com RPI, Notre Dame is No. 14, Evansville No. 67, Ball State No. 90, Indiana No. 119, Purdue No. 120, Indiana State No. 121, Valparaiso No. 217, Butler No. 229 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 251.
Final regular-season games this week include:
• Ball State is at Miami (Ohio) May 19-21.
• Notre Dame at Northwestern May 17 and Miami (Fla.) May 19-21.
• Purdue vs. Maryland May 19-21.
• Evansville vs. Murray State May 17 and vs. Valparaiso May 19-21.
• Indiana vs. Illinois State May 17 and at Iowa May 19-21.
• Indiana State vs. Dallas Baptist May 19-21.

  • Butler at Purdue Fort Wayne May 17 and vs. Seton Hall May 19-21
  • Purdue Fort Wayne vs. Butler May 17 and at Akron May 20-21.
  • Valparaiso at Western Michigan May 17 and at Evansville May 19-21.

INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through May 15
NCAA D-I
Ball State 34-17 (28-7 MAC)
Notre Dame 31-11 (15-9 ACC)
Purdue 29-17 (9-10 Big Ten)
Evansville 29-20 (13-5 MVC)
Indiana 24-27 (10-11 Big Ten)
Indiana State 23-20 (8-10 MVC)
Butler 18-33-1 (2-15-1 Big East)
Purdue Fort Wayne 16-33 (13-15 Horizon)
Valparaiso 15-30 (4-14 MVC)

NCAA D-II
Southern Indiana 21-28 (10-14 GLVC)
Indianapolis 21-31 (11-13 GLVC)
Purdue Northwest 18-21 (7-17 GLIAC)

NCAA D-III
Franklin 29-14 (13-5 HCAC)
Rose-Hulman 28-13 (12-6 HCAC)
Earlham 26-11 (12-6 HCAC)
DePauw 22-17 (12-6 NCAC)
Wabash 20-19 (4-14 NCAC)
Anderson 20-21 (11-7 HCAC)
Hanover 16-22 (10-8 HCAC)
Trine 14-23 (9-12 MIAA)
Manchester 10-27 (6-12 HCAC)

NAIA
Taylor 40-16 (26-10 CL)
Indiana University Southeast 39-13 (20-4 RSC)
Indiana Tech 32-21 (13-7 WHAC)
Indiana Wesleyan 31-23 (23-13 CL)
Oakland City 31-23 (11-11 RSC)
Huntington 27-23 (21-15 CL)
Marian 27-27 (17-19 CL)
Saint Francis 27-28 (15-21 CL)
Indiana University-Kokomo 26-22 (16-7 RSC)
Bethel 25-29 (19-17 CL)
Grace 17-33 (10-26 CL)
Calumet of Saint Joseph 16-32 (11-18 CCAC)
Indiana University South Bend 16-32-1 (9-20-1 CCAC)
Goshen 11-39 (6-30 CL)

Junior College
Vincennes 25-30 (15-17 MWAC)
Ivy Tech Northeast 16-19
Marian’s Ancilla 8-40 (6-22 MCCAA)

Week of May 9-15
NCAA D-I
Monday, May 9
Kent State 5, Ball State 4

Tuesday, May 10
Purdue 11, Butler 6
Louisville 7, Indiana 2
Vanderbilt 8, Indiana State 7 (11 inn.)
Notre Dame 15, Michigan State 6
Dayton 8, Purdue Fort Wayne 5

Wednesday, May 11
Evansville 17, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 10

Friday, May 13
Ball State 11, Ohio 5
Creighton 3, Butler 1
Evansville 9, Dallas Baptist 2
Indiana 8, Minnesota 6
Southern Illinois 5, Indiana State 3
Notre Dame 8, Pittsburgh 3
Purdue 14, Northwestern 8
Purdue Fort Wayne 2, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1
Purdue Fort Wayne 14, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4
Bradley 7, Valparaiso 6

Saturday, May 14
Ohio 5, Ball State 3
Ball State 16, Ohio 6
Creighton 14, Butler 6
Dallas Baptist 4, Evansville 3
Southern Illinois 14, Indiana State 3
Notre Dame 8, Pittsburgh 1
Northwestern 11, Purdue 1
Purdue Fort Wayne 5, Wright State 4
Wright State 17, Purdue Fort Wayne 3
Valparaiso 8, Bradley 2

Sunday, May 15
Ohio 15, Ball State 10
Creighton 4, Butler 3
Dallas Baptist 11, Evansville 4
Indiana 12, Minnesota 0
Minnesota 9, Indiana 8
Southern Illinois 7, Indiana State 3
Pittsburgh 5, Notre Dame 2
Purdue 7, Northwestern 2
Bradley 2, Valparaiso 0

NCAA D-II
Thursday, May 12
Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Conference Tournament
Wayne State 10, Saginaw Valley State 4
Purdue Northwest 10, Davenport 8
Northwood 11, Grand Valley State 6

Great Lakes Valley
Conference Tournament
Quincy 12, Lindenwood 3
Maryville 3, Lewis 1
Illinois-Springfield 5, William Jewell 4
Indianapolis 11, Drury 1

Friday, May 13
Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Conference Tournament
Davenport 12, Saginaw Valley State 8
Purdue Northwest 11, Grand Valley State 3
Wayne State 7, Northwood 4

Great Lakes Valley
Conference Tournament
Lewis 12, William Jewell 6
Drury 12, Lindenwood 2
Quincy 4, Indianapolis 3
Illinois-Springfield 12, Maryville 2

Saturday, May 14
Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Conference Tournament
Purdue Northwest 7, Wayne State 5 (12 inn.)
Davenport 8, Northwood 5
Davenport 8, Wayne State 5

Great Lakes Valley
Conference Tournament
Lewis 5, Maryville 4
Drury 9, Indianapolis 7
Lewis 6, Quincy 4
Illinois-Springfield 14, Drury 2

Sunday, May 15
Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Conference Tournament
Purdue Northwest vs.
Davenport 6, Purdue Northwest 4
Championship
Davenport 2, Purdue Northwest 1

Great Lakes Valley
Conference Tournament
Quincy 9, Lewis 4
Championship
Illinois-Springfield 16, Quincy 3

NCAA D-III
Thursday, May 12
Heartland Collegiate Athletic
Conference Tournament
Anderson 6, Hanover 2
Earlham 5, Rose-Hulman 3
Franklin 7, Anderson 3

Friday, May 13
Heartland Collegiate Athletic
Conference Tournament
Rose-Hulman 14, Hanover 6
Earlham 9, Franklin 8
Rose-Hulman 8, Anderson 5

Saturday, May 14
Heartland Collegiate Athletic
Conference Tournament
Rose-Hulman 13, Franklin 8
Championship
Earlham 10, Rose-Hulman 9

NAIA
Monday, May 9
River States Conference Tournament
Championship
Indiana University Southeast 19, Point Park 4

Crossroads League Tournament
Marian 22, Spring Arbor 14
Mount Vernon Nazarene 10, Bethel 8
Taylor 8, Indiana Wesleyan 7
Huntington 15, Saint Francis 8
Mount Vernon Nazarene 5, Indiana Wesleyan 3
Marian 12, Saint Francis 8

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic
Conference Tournament
Judson 15, St. Ambrose 2
Championship
Olivet Nazarene 3, Judson 1

Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic
Conference Tournament
Championship Series
Northwestern Ohio 22, Madonna 7

Tuesday, May 10
Crossroads League Tournament
Taylor 11, Huntington 8
Mount Vernon Nazarene 16, Marian 8
Huntington 6, Mount Vernon Nazarene 4

Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic
Conference Tournament
Championship Series
Madonna 12, Northwestern Ohio 4
Northwestern Ohio 25, Madonna 2

Wednesday, May 11
Crossroads League Tournament
Championship
Taylor 12, Huntington 9

Junior College
Monday, May 9
Parkland 15, Vincennes 4
Parkland 12, Vincennes 2

Tuesday, May 10
Wabash Valley 11, Vincennes 1

Friday, May 13
Vincennes 7, John Wood 2
Vincennes 5, John Wood 1

Saturday, May 14
Vincennes 6, John Wood 2
Vincennes 12, John Wood 0

Taylor’s Gould, Indiana Wesleyan’s Benjamin, Bethel’s Zartman, DePauw’s Allen reach milestones; Ball State sweeps Central Michigan

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Three Indiana-based Crossroads League head coaches reached victory milestones as the regular season came to a close the week of April 25-May 1.
Taylor’s Kyle Gould earned his 600th win, Indiana Wesleyan’s Rich Benjamin his 500th and Bethel’s Seth Zartman his 400th.
The eight-team Crossroads League tournament is slated for May 6-10 at Taylor. Mount Vernon Nazarene won the regular-season title. Seeds 2-8 are Taylor, Indiana Wesleyan, Huntington, Bethel, Spring Arbor and Saint Francis. The 2022 season came to a close for CL members Grace and Goshen.
Indiana Southeast swept three River States Conference games from Midway and Oakland City went 3-0 in conference play against Ohio Christian.
The six-team RSC tournament featuring Indiana Southeast, Indiana University Kokomo and Oakland City is May 5-8 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Indiana Tech went 2-0 against Northwestern Ohio in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference games.
The WHAC tournament first round is May 5-6 with No. 5 seed Indiana Tech, No. 1 Northwestern Ohio (host) and No. 6 Concordia in Pod B. The championship round is slated for May 9-10. The tournament winner receives the second automatic qualifier to the NAIA national tournament. If it is the conference champion, then the runner up of the tournament will receive the second berth.
NCAA Division I Ball State (29-14, 23-4) ran its win streak to eight and took over the lead in the Mid-American Conference with a four-game sweep of visiting Central Michigan. The Chippewas had won 22 straight MAC games prior to Friday’s loss to the Cardinals.
Four-game conference series against Kent State, Ohio and Miami remain on BSU’s regular-season slate. The MAC tournament is schedule for May 25-28.
Notre Dame (28-10, 13-8) won two of three games in an Atlantic Coast Conference series against Boston College. The Irish are No. 8 in the D1Baseball.com RPI.
Evansville (24-18, 9-3) took all three Missouri Valley Conference games from Bradley.
Purdue (25-14, 6-7) went 2-1 vs. Michigan and Indiana (20-24, 6-9) 2-1 against Illinois in a pair of Big Ten Conference series.
NCAA Division II Southern Indiana split four Great Lakes Valley Conference games against Missouri Science & Technology.
NCAA D-III Franklin won both Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contests against Transylvania.
Also in the HCAC, Hanover was 2-0 against Transylvania and 1-1 vs. Defiance, Rose-Hulman 2-0 against Bluffton, Manchester 1-1 vs. Mount St. Joseph and Earlham and Anderson split a two-game series.
The five-team HCAC tournament is scheduled for May 12-15 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
Wabash went 1-1 against Hiram in North Coast Athletic Conference play. The four-team NCAC tournament is May 12-14 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
By beating Anderson Wednesday, DePauw’s Blake Allen got his 100th career victory as a head coach.

INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through May 1
NCAA D-I
Ball State 29-14 (23-4 MAC)
Notre Dame 28-10 (13-8 ACC)
Purdue 25-14 (6-7 Big Ten)
Evansville 24-18 (9-3 MVC)
Indiana State 22-13 (7-5 MVC)
Indiana 20-24 (6-9 Big Ten)
Butler 18-26-1 (2-9-1 Big East)
Valparaiso 14-25 (3-9 MVC)
Purdue Fort Wayne 12-30 (9-13 Horizon)

NCAA D-II
Indianapolis 20-25 (11-9 GLVC)
Purdue Northwest 18-17 (7-13 GLIAC)
Southern Indiana 17-28 (6-14 GLVC)

NCAA D-III
Franklin 25-11 (10-4 HCAC)
Rose-Hulman 22-10 (11-5 HCAC)
Earlham 21-9 (10-4 HCAC)
Wabash 20-13 (4-10 NCAC)
DePauw 17-15 (8-6 NCAC)
Anderson 17-17 (9-5 HCAC)
Hanover 16-18 (10-6 HCAC)
Trine 14-20 (9-9 MIAA)
Manchester 8-25 (4-10 HCAC)

NAIA
Taylor 36-16 (26-10 CL)
Indiana University Southeast 35-13 (20-4 RSC)
Indiana Tech 31-19 (13-7 WHAC)
Indiana Wesleyan 30-21 (23-13 CL)
Oakland City 28-19 (11-11 RSC)
Indiana University-Kokomo 26-20 (16-7 RSC)
Saint Francis 26-26 (15-21 CL)
Marian 25-25 (17-19 CL)
Bethel 25-27 (19-17 CL)
Huntington 24-21 (21-15 CL)
Grace 17-33 (10-26 CL)
Calumet of Saint Joseph 16-30 (11-18 CCAC)
Indiana University South Bend 15-30-1 (9-20-1 CCAC)
Goshen 11-39 (6-30 CL)

Junior College
Vincennes 19-25 (9-13 MWAC)
Ivy Tech Northeast 15-18
Marian’s Ancilla 8-36 (6-18 MCCAA)

Week of April 25-May 1
NCAA D-I
Monday, April 25
Ball State 15, Northern Illinois 1

Tuesday, April 26
Indiana 9, Butler 1
Belmont 8, Evansville 2
Michigan State 8, Notre Dame 2
Purdue 6, Valparaiso 5 (10 inn.)

Wednesday, April 27
Indiana 3, Illinois State 1
Michigan State 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 4

Friday, April 29
Ball State 7, Central Michigan 1
Connecticut 8, Butler 7 (10 inn.)
Evansville 6, Bradley 5
Indiana 7, Illinois 6
Missouri State 7, Indiana State 6
Boston College 7, Notre Dame 4
Purdue 18, Michigan 4
Illinois-Chicago 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 3
Southern Illinois 4, Valparaiso 0

Saturday, April 30
Ball State 6, Central Michigan 4
Ball State 10, Central Michigan 7
Connecticut 14, Butler 7
Evansville 8, Bradley 7
Illinois 18, Indiana 10
Missouri State 11, Indiana State 4
Notre Dame 11, Boston College 5
Purdue 12, Michigan 4
Illinois-Chicago 4, Purdue Fort Wayne 2
Southern Illinois 15, Valparaiso 12

Sunday, May 1
Ball State 4, Central Michigan 3
Connecticut 17, Butler 4
Evansville 15, Bradley 4
Indiana 11, Illinois 7
Indiana State 8, Missouri State 1
Notre Dame 16, Boston College 10
Michigan 13, Purdue 2
Illinois-Chicago 21, Purdue Fort Wayne 5
Valparaiso 11, Southern Illinois 10

NCAA D-II
Tuesday, April 26
Ohio Dominican 13, Indianapolis 3
Ohio Dominican 2, Indianapolis 1
Kentucky Wesleyan 11, Southern Indiana 7

Wednesday, April 27
Purdue Northwest 3, Wisconsin-Parkside 1
Wisconsin-Parkside 5, Purdue Northwest 0

Friday, April 29
Illinois-Springfield 15, Indianapolis 2
Wayne State 23, Purdue Northwest 4
Southern Indiana 12, Missouri S&T 9

Saturday, April 30
Indianapolis 9, Illinois-Springfield 8
Illinois-Springfield 11, Indianapolis 1
Wayne State 9, Purdue Northwest 2
Wayne State 9, Purdue Northwest 2
Southern Indiana 7, Missouri S&T 6
Missouri S&T 5, Southern Indiana 1

Sunday, May 1
Illinois-Springfield 11, Indianapolis 10 (10 inn.)
Purdue Northwest 11, Wayne State 10
Missouri S&T 5, Southern Indiana 1
Missouri S&T 12, Southern Indiana 9

NCAA D-III
Monday, April 25
Webster 5, Franklin 1
Webster 7, Franklin 1
Calvin 15, Trine 5

Tuesday, April 26
DePauw 12, Rose-Hulman 8
Hanover 19, Transylvania 7
Hanover 20, Transylvania 13
Huntington 10, Manchester 1

Wednesday, April 27
DePauw 11, Anderson 10
Denison 15, Hanover 8
Indiana Tech 15, Manchester 5
Rose-Hulman 5, Greenville 2

Friday, April 29
Earlham 7, Anderson 4
Anderson 7, Earlham 6

Saturday, April 30
Franklin 9, Transylvania 6
Franklin 5, Transylvania 4
Hanover 5, Defiance 1
Defiance 8, Hanover 4
Manchester 9, Mount St. Joseph 6
Mount St. Joseph 8, Manchester 7
Albion 8, Trine 4
Trine 3, Albion 1
Wabash 8, Hiram 6
Hiram 6, Wabash 5 (11 inn.)

Sunday, May 1
Marietta 13, Hanover 0
Rose-Hulman 3, Bluffton 0
Rose-Hulman 10, Bluffton 7
Trine 10, Albion 3

NAIA
Tuesday, April 26
IU Kokomo 7, Grace 2
Huntington 10, Manchester 1
St. Francis (Ill.) 9, Indiana Tech 8
Indiana Tech 10, St. Francis (Ill.) 2
IU Southeast 11, Cumberlands 9
Kentucky State 2, Oakland City 0
Kentucky State 2, Oakland City 0

Wednesday, April 27
Calumet of St. Joseph 5, Trinity International 4
Calumet of St. Joseph 6, Trinity International 1
Indiana Tech 15, Manchester 5
St. Francis (Ill.) 2, IU South Bend 1
St. Francis (Ill.) 6, IU South Bend 2

Thursday, April 28
IU Southeast 3, Midway 2
IU Southeast 8, Midway 7
Oakland City 3, Ohio Christian 2 (11 inn.)

Friday, April 29
Bethel 7, Saint Francis 4
Saint Francis 5, Bethel 4
Roosevelt 20, Calumet of St. Joseph 6
Roosevelt 5, Calumet of St. Joseph 2
Goshen 10, Spring Arbor 6
Spring Arbor 10, Goshen 3
Taylor 9, Grace 0
Taylor 16, Grace 0
Mount Vernon Nazarene 13, Huntington 0
Mount Vernon Nazarene 17, Huntington 16
IU Kokomo 8, Point Park 5
Point Park 5, IU Kokomo 4
IU Southeast 12, Midway 6
IU South Bend 12, Lincoln 7
Indiana Wesleyan 9, Marian 2
Indiana Wesleyan 11, Marian 3
Oakland City 10, Ohio Christian 9
Oakland City 7, Ohio Christian 6

Saturday, April 30
Bethel 5, Saint Francis 3
Bethel 2, Saint Francis 1
Roosevelt 4, Calumet of St. Joseph 1
Spring Arbor 13, Goshen 6
Spring Arbor 11, Goshen 9
Taylor 19, Grace 11
Taylor 9, Grace 8
Mount Vernon Nazarene 5, Huntington 0
Mount Vernon Nazarene 7, Huntington 0
Indiana Tech 8, Northwestern Ohio 1
Indiana Tech 5, Northwestern Ohio 2
Point Park 7, IU Kokomo 5
IU South Bend 15, Lincoln 6
Lincoln 1, IU South Bend 0 (10 inn.)
Indiana Wesleyan 8, Marian 3
Marian 8, Indiana Wesleyan 5

Junior College
Tuesday, April 26
Lincoln Trail 12, Vincennes 7

Thursday, April 28
Kellogg 11, Marian’s Ancilla 0
Kellogg 6, Marian’s Ancilla 0

Saturday, April 30
Kellogg 13, Marian’s Ancilla 2
Vincennes 17, Lewis & Clark 7
Lewis & Clark 11, Vincennes 4

Bickel making memories in first season at Purdue Fort Wayne

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Jarrett Bickel had a decision to make after playing junior college baseball for two seasons.
The infielder from South Bend, Ind., with two years of eligibility remaining could take another year at the JUCO level allowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Head coach Kyle Forbes invited him to stay at Palm Beach State College.
“I was ready to move on to a four-year school and play at the (NCAA) Division I level,” says Bickel, who chose Purdue Fort Wayne over East Tennessee State, New Orleans, Alcorn State and Savannah State.
Why the PFW Mastodons?
“I was sold on Coach (Doug) Schreiber and his history at Purdue University,” says Bickel. “I knew he was coming here to turn the program around.
“He’s awesome. His knowledge for the game is through the roof.”
Bickel appreciates Schreiber not only for what he can do for him on the diamond, but away from it.
“He shows you how to carry yourself off the field and be a man,” says Bickel, 22.
As a player, Bickel has gone from third base to shortstop and settling in as Purdue Fort Wayne’s starting shortstop and lead-off hitter.
His double play partner is redshirt sophomore second baseman Brian Erbe.
“He has a confidence and swagger he brings everyday,” says Bickel of Erbe. “We kind of feed off that energy.”
Going into an April 27 non-conference game at Michigan State, righty swinger Bickel was hitting .259 (38-of-147) with five home runs, 12 doubles, 19 runs batted in, 18 runs scored and a .306 on-base percentage. He collected a season-best four hits April 3 against Wright State and drove in a season-high three runs April 16 at Northern Kentucky.
Bickel even pitched 2/3 of an inning Feb. 27 at Cal Baptist.
Though he was not in the middle of either, two memorable moments for Bickel came with walk-off wins March 20 against Youngstown State and April 22 vs. Northern Kentucky.
Away from the field, Bickel likes to hang out with teammates. He also likes to play golf and go fishing.
“I’m an outdoorsy person,” says Bickel. “I don’t like to be inside that much. I love to fish.”
A St. Joseph River dam near campus gives him a chance to pull in catfish and bass. In the warm climes of Florida, he liked going on the ocean and catching snook.
Bickel grew up a few minutes from Notre Dame and Bickel got to play against the Irish April 20, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.
“I’ve always been a Notre Dame fan since I was little,” says Bickel. “Going back there and playing them was pretty special.”
ND is No. 3 behind Tennessee and Dallas Bapist in the D1Baseball.com RPI.
Bickel assessed the Link Jarrett-coached Irish.
“They’re very well put-together and do all the little things,” says Bickel. “They’re well-coached. They are good at situational hitting and have very good (pitching) arms.”
Currently fifth in the Horizon League, the Mastodons are looking to finish in the top six to earn a berth in the conference tournament May 25-28 with games hosted by the top seed. The last HL series wraps May 14. The regular season is to end May 21.
Enrolled at Purdue Fort Wayne as a General Studies major, he has been taking mostly Business classes.
Bickel plans to spent the summer with the Prospect League’s Lafayette (Ind.) Aviators. Mastodons pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Brent McNeil managed that team a few years ago. Chris Willsey, Bickel’s head coach two years ago in the College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., is slated to guide the Aviators in 2022.
A 2018 graduate of Marian High School in Mishwawaka, Ind., Bickel played for Joe Turnock. The Knights won an IHSAA Class 3A Jimtown Sectional title in 2016.
In 2019, Bickel played 41 games for Miami Dade College. He did not play in the spring of 2020 — the COVID-19 season.
That summer, Bickel was with the Indiana Collegiate Summer Baseball League’s Mishawaka Brewers as well as the CSL’s Snakes and Northwoods League’s Bismarck (N.D.) Bull Moose, hitting .271 with a .403 OBP in 16 games. He played for the Bismarck Larks in 2021 with a OBP of .321 over 112 at-bats.
Jarrett is the middle son of Joe and Megan Bickel. Tyler Bickel (24) is working toward becoming a fireman. Xavier Bickel (18) is a Marian senior. Cousin Trey Bickel is head baseball coach at Marian University’s Ancilla College — a junior college in Donaldson, Ind.

Jarrett Bickel (Purdue Fort Wayne Photo)
Jarrett Bickel (Purdue Fort Wayne Photo)
Jarrett Bickel (Purdue Fort Wayne Photo)

Ball State’s Maloney reflects on milestone victory No. 900

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

When Ball State swept a doubleheader Saturday, April 23 at Northern Illinois it allowed Cardinals head coach Rich Maloney to reach the 900th victory of his career.
Maloney is in his 27th season as a college head coach with two stints at Ball State (1996-2002 and 2013-present) and one at Michigan (2003-12).
Ball State (24-14 overall, 18-4 in the Mid-American Conference) went on to win, Sunday, too. Game 4 of the series was slated for today (April 25). Maloney has won 580 games with the Cards.
“I have had the great privilege of coaching so many outstanding young men and coaching alongside so many outstanding assistants,” said Maloney Saturday. “Milestones like this give us a time to reflect on the many relationships built through the years.
“What a blessing!”
Ball State — which got wins from starters Tyler Schweitzer (Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate) and Ty Johnson (Lawrence North), both 6-2 in 2022, Saturday and Sunday — is chasing first-place Central Michigan (27-10, 21-1) in the MAC.
There are more coaching victory milestones on the horizon for NAIA Taylor’s Kyle Gould (597), NAIA Indiana Wesleyan’s Rich Benjamin (498), NAIA Bethel’s Seth Zartman (397), NAIA Marian’s Todd Bacon (195) and NCAA Division III DePauw’s Blake Allen (98).
The best weeks among the state’s 38 college baseball programs April 18-24 belonged to NAIA Indiana Tech at 6-0, NCAA Division-I Notre Dame at 5-0, NCAA Division III Wabash at 5-1, NAIA Calumet of St. Joseph at 5-1 and NAIA Oakland City 4-1.
Notre Dame won midweek games against Valparaiso and Purdue Fort Wayne and swept three from Atlantic Coast Conference foe Wake Forest. The Irish (26-8, 11-7) are tied with Louisville atop the ACC Atlantic Division. ND is No. 2 in the D1Baseball.com RPI behind Tennessee (37-3). Evansville is No. 67, Indiana State. No. 91, Ball State No, 123, Indiana No. 135, Purdue No. 163, Valparaiso No. 202, Butler No. 208 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 237.
Indiana State (21-11 overall and tied for first in the Missouri Valley Conference at 6-3) tied a school record with six home runs in Sunday’s 12-9 loss to Evansville — two by Aaron Beck (Evansville Harrison) and one each by Tyler Nelson (Chesterton), Jordan Schaffer (West Vigo), Sean Ross and Keegan Watson (New Palestine).
Indiana Tech (27-18, 13-7 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) won four WHAC games Saturday and Sunday by a combined 66-27. The Warriors and others are looking up conference leader Northwestern Ohio (32-9, 19-1).
Wabash (19-12) is now 4-4 in away games after a doubleheader split at Oberlin and twin bill sweep at Anderson.
Calumet of St. Joseph (14-27) earned all its wins for the week on the road. The same is true for Oakland City (25-17). The Mighty Oaks have already won eight more games in 2022 than 2021.

INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through April 24
NCAA D-I
Notre Dame 26-8 (11-7 ACC)
Ball State 24-14 (18-4 MAC)
Purdue 22-13 (4-6 Big Ten)
Indiana State 21-11 (6-3 MVC)
Evansville 21-17 (6-3 MVC)
Butler 18-22-1 (2-6-1 Big East)
Indiana 16-23 (4-8 Big Ten)
Valparaiso 13-22 (2-7 MVC)
Purdue Fort Wayne 12-25 (9-9 Horizon)

NCAA D-II
Indianapolis 19-20 (10-6 GLVC)
Purdue Northwest 16-13 (5-9 GLIAC)
Southern Indiana 15-25 (4-12 GLVC)

NCAA D-III
Franklin 23-9 (8-4 HCAC)
Earlham 20-8 (9-3 HCAC)
Rose-Hulman 19-9 (9-5 HCAC)
Wabash 19-12 (4-9 NCAC)
Anderson 16-15 (8-4 HCAC)
Hanover 13-15 (7-5 HCAC)
DePauw 13-15 (6-6 NCAC)
Trine 12-18 (7-7 MIAA)
Manchester 7-22 (3-9 HCAC)

NAIA
Taylor 32-16 (22-10 CL)
Indiana University Southeast 31-13 (17-4 RSC)
Indiana Tech 27-18 (13-7 WHAC)
Indiana Wesleyan 27-20 (20-12 CL)
Indiana University-Kokomo 25-17 (15-5 RSC)
Oakland City 25-17 (8-11 RSC)
Saint Francis 25-23 (14-18 CL)
Marian 24-22 (16-16 CL)
Huntington 22-18 (20-12 CL)
Bethel 22-26 (16-16 CL)
Grace 16-29 (10-22 CL)
Calumet of Saint Joseph 14-27 (9-15 CCAC)
Indiana University South Bend 12-27-1 (6-17-1 CCAC)
Goshen 10-36 (5-27 CL)

Junior College
Vincennes 18-23 (8-12 MWAC)
Ivy Tech Northeast 15-18
Marian’s Ancilla 8-32 (6-14 MCCAA)

Week of April 18-24
NCAA D-I
Tuesday, April 19
Western Michigan 14, Ball State 12
Butler 6, Northern Kentucky 5
Miami (Ohio) 9, Indiana 7
Indiana State 12, Illinois 6
Notre Dame 5, Valparaiso 1
Illinois-Chicago 9, Purdue 6

Wednesday, April 20
Butler 7, Dayton 2
Notre Dame 12, Purdue Fort Wayne 2

Friday, April 22
St. John’s 8, Butler 6
Indiana State 7, Evansville 6
Indiana 8, Nebraska 7
Belmont 3, Purdue 2
Notre Dame 8, Wake Forest 3
Purdue Fort Wayne 4, Northern Kentucky 2
Purdue Fort Wayne 4, Northern Kentucky 3

Saturday, April 23
Ball State 13, Northern Illinois 0
Ball State 6, Northern Illinois 1
St. John’s 8, Butler 7 (10 inn.)
Evansville 14, Indiana State 0
Indiana 8, Nebraska 1
Notre Dame 21, Wake Forest 3
Belmont 11, Purdue 1
Purdue Fort Wayne 10, Oakland 2
Oakland 10, Purdue Fort Wayne 2
Missouri State 14, Valparaiso 2
Missouri State 9, Valparaiso 4

Sunday, April 24
Ball State 9, Northern Illinois 5
Butler 12, St. John’s 12, tie
Evansville 12, Indiana State 9
Nebraska 19, Indiana 7
Belmont 8, Purdue 6
Oakland 10, Purdue Fort Wayne 9 (10 inn.)
Missouri State 6, Valparaiso 1
Notre Dame 13, Wake Forest 12
Northern Kentucky vs. Purdue Fort Wayne

NCAA D-II
Tuesday, April 19
Grand Valley State 10, Purdue Northwest 5
Purdue Northwest 5, Grand Valley State 4
Kentucky Wesleyan 4, Southern Indiana 14

Friday, April 22
Indianapolis 9, Davenport 1

Saturday, April 23
Davenport 12, Indianapolis 10
Davenport 18, Indianapolis 6
Lewis 10, Southern Indiana 9
Southern Indiana vs. Lewis
Purdue Northwest 22, Wisconsin-Parkside 0
Purdue Northwest 18, Wisconsin-Parkside 5

Sunday, April 24
Lewis 15, Southern Indiana 3
Lewis 8, Southern Indiana 5

NCAA D-III
Tuesday, April 19
Anderson 11, Bluffton 4
Bluffton 6, Anderson 0
Wittenberg 11, DePauw 10
DePauw 4, Wittenberg 3
Rose-Hulman 12, Franklin 10
Rose-Hulman 10, Franklin 4
Defiance 4, Manchester 2
Manchester 12, Defiance 11 (11 inn.)
Trine 22, Adrian 14
Wabash 8, Ohio Weselyan 2
Wabash 3, Ohio Weselyan 2

Wednesday, April 20
Indiana Tech 14, Manchester 4

Saturday, April 23
Anderson 8, Defiance 5
Anderson 7, Defiance 6
DePauw 16, Hiram 0
DePauw 11, Hiram 0
Earlham 8, Rose-Hulman 6
Earlham 11, Rose-Hulman 2
Franklin 5, Mt. St. Joseph 4
Franklin 14, Mt. St. Joseph 4
Hanover 10, Bluffton 8
Bluffton 13, Hanover 3
Calvin 7, Trine 3
Trine 7, Calvin 2
Oberlin 3, Wabash 2
Wabash 15, Oberlin 12 (10 inn.)

Sunday, April 24
Wabash 14, Anderson 5
Anderson 21, Wabash 6
Rose-Hulman 16, Wilmington 9
Manchester 5, Trine 4

NAIA
Monday, April 18
Calumet of St. Joseph 19, Lincoln 4
Calumet of St. Joseph 15, Lincoln 5
Grace 10, Marian 8
Marian 8, Grace 3

Tuesday, April 19
IU South Bend 8, Calumet of St. Joseph 4
Indiana Tech 18, Saint Francis 1
Oakland City 4, Bethel (Tenn.) 2
Oakland City 1, Bethel (Tenn.) 0

Wednesday, April 20
Siena Heights 4, Goshen 0
Siena Heights 6, Goshen 3
Indiana Tech 14, Manchester 4
Georgetown (Ky.) 4, IU Kokomo 3

Thursday, April 21
Spring Arbor 7, Bethel 5
Bethel 3, Spring Arbor 2
Mt. Vernon Nazarene 7, Grace 5
Mt. Vernon Nazarene 4, Grace 2
Indiana Wesleyan 11, Taylor 7
Taylor 6, Indiana Wesleyan 3

Friday, April 22
Huntington 15, Goshen 12
Goshen 6, Huntington 4
IU Southeast 10, IU Kokomo 3
Roosevelt 6, IU South Bend 5
Marian 6, Saint Francis 5
Marian 5, Saint Francis 1
Brescia 4, Oakland City 2

Saturday, April 23
Bethel 7, Spring Arbor 6
Bethel 12, Spring Arbor 10
Huntington 16, Goshen 12
Huntington 18, Goshen 3
Mt. Vernon Nazarene 11, Grace 10
Mt. Vernon Nazarene 7, Grace 3
Indiana Tech 20, Siena Heights 3
Indiana Tech 16, Siena Heights 1
IU Kokomo 12, IU Southeast 11
IU Southeast 18, IU Kokomo 2
Roosevelt 15, IU South Bend 3
Roosevelt 9, IU South Bend 5
Taylor 11, Indiana Wesleyan 1
Indiana Wesleyan 9, Taylor 5
Marian 11, Saint Francis 10
Saint Francis 13, Marian 8
Oakland City vs. Brescia
Oakland City vs. Brescia

Sunday, April 24
Indiana Tech 9, Lourdes 8
Indiana Tech 21, Lourdes 15

Junior College
Tuesday, April 19
Muskegon 3, Marian’s Ancilla 2
Muskegon 4, Marian’s Ancilla 3
Vincennes 5, Lincoln Trail 4 (10 inn.)

Wednesday, April 20
Lansing 14, Ivy Tech Northeast 0
Lansing 5, Ivy Tech Northeast 3

Friday, April 22
Wabash Valley 11, Ivy Tech Northeast 5
Wabash Valley 13, Ivy Tech Northeast 2
Kalamazoo Valley 10, Marian’s Ancilla 1
Kalamazoo Valley 1, Marian’s Ancilla 0
Vincennes 11, Illinois Central 3
Illinois Central 5, Vincennes 4

Saturday, April 23
Wabash Valley 12. Ivy Tech Northeast 1
Wabash Valley 14, Ivy Tech Northeast 4
Marian’s Ancilla 6, Kalamazoo Valley 5
Marian’s Ancilla 11, Kalamazoo Valley 9
Vincennes 11, Illinois Central 10
Illinois Central 9, Vincennes 1

Sunday, April 24
Ivy Tech Northeast 14, Trine JV 4
Ivy Tech Northeast 5, Trine JV 2

Earlham’s Bradley enjoys five-homer day; Taylor’s Bass belts 13th

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Earlham junior Andrew Bradley belted five home runs in a doubleheader sweep of visiting Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance April 6.
The clean-up hitter launched two dingers each in the first and third innings of a 40-7 Game 1 rout. In Game 2, he circled the bases in the third frame as the Quakers won 12-3. The games were contested at Randal R. Sadler Stadium.
For the week of week of April 4-10, NCAA Division III Earlham went 3-1 and is 16-6 overall and 5-1 in the HCAC.
Earlham is in three-way tie atop the conference standings with Franklin (20-6 overall) and Anderson (13-10).
NAIA Taylor went 3-1 on the week and moved to 27-11 overall and 17-5 in the Crossroads League, which ties the Trojans for first place with Mount Vernon Nazarene.
Taylor junior T.J. Bass (Greenwood Community) has raised his season totals to 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in.
With two wins Sunday against Point Park, first-place Indiana University Southeast moved to 24-10 overall and 12-2 in the River States Conference.
Heading into Game 3 of the Point Park series today (April 11), Grenadiers coach Ben Reel has 499 career victories.
Indiana Tech has won five straight. The Warriors are 18-15 overall and 6-4 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
In NCAA Division I, Purdue (20-7 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten) took two of three games from visiting Indiana (12-17, 2-3) at Alexander Field.
Game 1 Saturday saw the Boilers roll 17-0. Redshirt junior left-hander Jackson Smeltz (McCutcheon) gave up one hit in eight innings with 13 strikeouts.
In Sunday’s doubleheader, the Hoosiers prevailed 10-3 with freshman Brock Tibbitts cracking his seventh homer of 2022.
Purdue outlasted Indiana 16-15 in the nightcap. Redshirt sophomore Cam Thompson smacked a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Boilers. Thompson paces the team with 10 circuit clouts.
Notre Dame pushed its win streak to eight games. The Irish (20-5 overall, 8-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) are 6-1 at Frank Eck Stadium, including 4-0 this past week.
D1Baseball.com has Notre Dame No. 3 nationally in RPI. Indiana State is No. 60, Ball State No. 103, Evansville No. 119, Purdue No. 133, Indiana No. 156, Butler No. 187, Valparaiso No. 206 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 230.
Purdue Fort Wayne is on a season-best four-game win streak after besting Michigan once and Wisconsin-Milwaukee three times.

INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through April 10
NCAA D-I
Purdue 21-7 (3-4 Big Ten)
Notre Dame 20-5 (8-4 ACC)
Indiana State 19-8 (5-1 MVC)
Ball State 18-12 (12-2 MAC)
Evansville 15-16 (1-2 MVC)
Butler 15-17 (1-2 Big East)
Indiana 12-18 (2-4 Big Ten)
Valparaiso 11-16 (0-3 MVC)
Purdue Fort Wayne 8-22 (5-7 Horizon)

NCAA D-II
Indianapolis 13-17 (7-5 GLVC)
Southern Indiana 13-17 (2-6 GLVC)
Purdue Northwest 11-8 (0-4 GLIAC)

NCAA D-III
Franklin 20-6 (5-1 HCAC)
Earlham 16-6 (5-1 HCAC)
Anderson 13-10 (5-1 HCAC)
Rose-Hulman 12-7 (3-3 HCAC)
Wabash 12-8 (0-5 NCAC)
DePauw 10-12 (3-3 NCAC)
Hanover 9-14 (4-4 HCAC)
Trine 8-13 (3-1 MIAA)
Manchester 5-14 (2-4 HCAC)

NAIA
Taylor 27-11 (17-5 CL)
Indiana University Southeast 24-10 (12-2 RSC)
Indiana University-Kokomo 20-14 (10-3 RSC)
Oakland City 20-16 (6-10 RSC)
Saint Francis 20-17 (9-12 CL)
Indiana Wesleyan 19-18 (14-10 CL)
Indiana Tech 18-15 (6-4 WHAC)
Huntington 17-13 (15-7 CL)
Marian 15-19 (7-13 CL)
Bethel 15-23 (9-13 CL)
Grace 14-21 (8-14 CL)
Indiana University South Bend 10-23 (4-13 CCAC)
Calumet of Saint Joseph 8-23 (3-11 CCAC)
Goshen 7-25 (4-18 CL)

Junior College
Vincennes 15-16 (6-6 MWAC)
Ivy Tech Northeast 11-10
Marian’s Ancilla 6-24 (4-6 MCCAA)

Week of April 4-10
NCAA D-I
Tuesday, April 5
Notre Dame 5, Butler 2
Evansville 8, Indiana 4
Purdue 17, Northern Illinois 14
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3, Valparaiso 2
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 8, Valparaiso 3

Wednesday, April 6
Indiana State 10, Purdue 6 (10 inn.)
Purdue Fort Wayne 6, Michigan 3

Friday, April 8
Oregon 13, Ball State 7
Villanova 13, Butler 3
Southern Illinois 14, Evansville 4
Notre Dame 4, Clemson 1

Saturday, April 9
Ball State 3, Oregon 2
Oregon 10, Ball State 4
Villanova 6, Butler 4
Evansville 6, Southern Illinois 2
Purdue 17, Indiana 0
Indiana State 2, Valparaiso 0
Notre Dame 8, Clemson 1
Purdue Fort Wayne 5, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4
Purdue Fort Wayne 7, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 0

Sunday, April 10
Oregon 7, Ball State 6
Butler 11, Villanova 3
Southern Illinois 14, Evansville 5
Indiana 10, Purdue 3
Purdue 16, Indiana 15
Indiana State 15, Valparaiso 8
Indiana State 11, Valparaiso 8
Notre Dame 9, Clemson 3
Purdue Fort Wayne 7, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 6

NCAA D-II
Tuesday, April 5
Purdue Northwest 5, Indianapolis 1
Indianapolis 3, Purdue Northwest 0

Friday, April 8
Indianapolis 12, Missouri A&T 4
Southern Indiana vs. Illinois-Springfield

Saturday, April 9
Indianapolis 14, Missouri A&T 8
Illinois-Springfield 9, Southern Indiana 2
Illinois-Springfield 19, Southern Indiana 2

Sunday, April 10
Missouri A&T 14, Indianapolis 5
Missouri A&T 15, Indianapolis 7
Illinois-Springfield 9, Southern Indiana 1
Illinois-Springfield 6, Southern Indiana 2

NCAA D-III
Tuesday, April 5
Bluffton 4, Manchester 3
Bluffton 11, Manchester 2
Adrian 9, Trine 5

Wednesday, April 6
Anderson 10, Franklin 5
Franklin 9, Anderson 2
Earlham 40, Defiance 7
Earlham 12, Defiance 3
Rose-Hulman 18, Hanover 15
Hanover 10, Rose-Hulman 3
Wittenberg 5, Wabash 2 (11 inn.)

Thursday, April 7
Denison 13, DePauw 2
Denison 12, DePauw 2

Sunday, April 10
Anderson 13, Mount St. Joseph 9
Anderson 11, Mount St. Joseph 0
DePauw 7, Oberlin 3
DePauw 16, Oberlin 10
Hanover 3, Earlham 1
Earlham 7, Hanover 3
Franklin 10, Defiance 2
Franklin 7, Defiance 4
Rose-Hulman 5, Manchester 2
Rose-Hulman 22, Manchester 9
Kalamazoo 5, Trine 2
Kalamazoo 18, Trine 5
Kenyon 5, Wabash 1
Kenyon 10, Wabash 4

NAIA
Monday, April 4
Bethel 10, Marian 6
Bethel 12, Marian 11
Calumet of Saint Joseph 7, Trinity International 3
Mount Vernon Nazarene 8, Goshen 4
Mount Vernon Nazarene 6, Goshen 2
Indiana Wesleyan 11, Grace 4
Grace 4, Indiana Wesleyan 2
Taylor 13, Saint Francis 7
Taylor 8, Saint Francis 3

Tuesday, April 5
IU Kokomo 6, Indiana Tech 5 (8 inn.)
Judson 4, IU South Bend 3
Judson 15, IU South Bend 10

Wednesday, April 6
Indiana Tech 15, Wright State-Lake 2

Thursday, April 7
Ivy Tech Northeast 12, Indiana Tech JV 3
Indiana Tech JV 6, Ivy Tech Northeast 5
Mount Vernon Nazarene 7, Saint Francis 6
Saint Francis 8, Mount Vernon Nazarene 3
Vincennes 12, Oakland City JV 5

Friday, April 8
Huntington 3, Indiana Wesleyan 2
Indiana Wesleyan 10, Huntington 8

Saturday, April 9
Marian 7, Grace 5
Grace 12, Marian 2
Huntington 17, Indiana Wesleyan 7
Huntington 2, Indiana Wesleyan 1
Trinity Christian 5, IU South Bend 4 (9 inn.)
Trinity Christian 10, IU South Bend 5
Taylor 5, Spring Arbor 3
Spring Arbor 4, Taylor 3

Sunday, April 10
Goshen 4, Bethel 2
Goshen 5, Bethel 2
St. Ambrose 14, Calumet of Saint Joseph 4
St. Ambrose 11, Calumet of Saint Joseph 3
West Virginia Tech 8, IU Kokomo 6
West Virginia Tech 2, IU Kokomo 0
IU Southeast 6, Point Park 5
IU Southeast 5, Point Park 3
Indiana Tech 4, Cleary 0
Indiana Tech 12, Cleary 5
Midway 3, Oakland City 2
Oakland City 14, Midway 0

Junior College
Tuesday, April 5
Ivy Tech Northeast 21, Glen Oaks 7

Thursday, April 7
Ivy Tech Northeast 12, Indiana Tech JV 3
Indiana Tech JV 6, Ivy Tech Northeast 5
Vincennes 12, Oakland City JV 5

Friday, April 8
Mid-Michigan 8, Marian’s Ancilla 0
Marian’s Ancilla 3, Mid-Michigan 2

Saturday, April 9
Marian’s Ancilla 4, Mid-Michigan 3 (8 inn.)
Mid-Michigan 8, Marian’s Ancilla 3
Frontier 7, Vincennes 5

Sunday, April 10
Vincennes 2, Frontier 1

Ball State leads nation in RPI, Strength of Schedule

BY STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Making memories against formidable foes.

That’s one thing Ball State University head baseball coach Rich Maloney considers when putting together the Cardinals schedule.

When the opportunity came to open the season at perennial powerhouse Arizona, Maloney jumped at it.

Kent State had planned to visit the Wildcats, but was not allowed to travel.

Maloney asked Ball State director of athletics Beth Goetz about taking the place of their Mid-American Conference partners.

“We’ve got a veteran team,” says Maloney of his sales pitch to Goetz. “They didn’t get to go last year (because of a pandemic-shortened 2020 season). They’re hungry. We wanted to be able to go somewhere and play.

“I try to schedule really good opponents and get the kids to have the opportunity for experiences that they can remember and go to places they’ll never forget.”

A couple of items sweetened the deal. Arizona offered a guarantee in case the series could not be played because of COVID-19.

Also, one of Maloney’s former players at Michigan — Derek Kerr — is an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at American Airlines and that just happens to be the carrier the Cards chose to take to Tucson.

“It was totally incidental,” says Maloney. “I called and asked Derek if there was any way he could help Coach out and get an extension in case we got hit with COVID and couldn’t make the trip to Arizona. He promised and that’s what gave Beth Goetz the green light to say it’s OK to schedule the flight.

“Our guys have done a nice job of staying in their bubble the best they can and we’ve been able to make these trips.”

With senior right-handed pitcher John Baker playing a major role, Ball State split four games Feb. 19-22 at Arizona, went 2-1 Feb. 26-27 against Bradley in Normal, Ill., and 2-1 March 5-7 at Kentucky for a 6-4 start to 2021 season.

Baker has made four appearances (three in relief) and is 1-0 with a 1.45 earned run average. Opponents are hitting .127 against him.

“He should have gone to pro ball a long time ago,” says Maloney of Baker. “He has amazing moxie. 

“He’s so underrated. He has the ‘It’ factor.”

Senior left-hander Lukas Jaksich (2-0), junior right-hander Chayce McDermott (1-0), junior Tyler Ruetschle (1-1) and sophomore right-hander Andre Oreselli (1-0) have accounted for the other mound victories.

In Sunday’s 4-3 win at UK, the Cards’ starting batting order featured junior second baseman Noah Navarro, freshman designated hitter Decker Scheffler, senior right fielder Ross Messina, junior first baseman Trenton Quartermaine, senior catcher Chase Sebby, junior left fielder Nick Powell, sophomore third baseman Ryan Peltier, sophomore shortstop Justin Conant and senior center fielder Aaron Simpson.

Those nine represent 521 games (with 465 starts) in their Ball State careers. 

Sebby, the 2019 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, has started 122 of his 130 games while Messina and Simpson have started all 83 times they’ve been in the lineup.

“We’ve got a great bunch,” says Maloney. “It’s a fun team to coach. They’re highly-competitive and they’re experienced.

“They’ve done some pretty incredible things in the first couple of weekends. I’m certainly happy for them. They’ve created some great memories. But we’ve got a long way to go. We can get a lot better than we are.”

Maloney says he is encouraged by the “grit” of his team, which has several players back — right-handed fireballers Drey Jameson and Kyle Nicolas being the notable exceptions — from that went 38-19 overall and 20-5 in the MAC while Central Michigan was having stronger year at 47-14 and 22-5.

“In any other year we would have been a (conference) champion,” says Maloney. 

WarrenNolan.com has Ball State No. 1 in both RPI and Strength of Schedule among NCAA Division I programs. Indiana State is No. 9 and No. 10, Notre Dame No. 20 and No. 35.

Maloney says high-profile wins can only help the Cards.

“Over the years we’ve been good enough to be in the NCAA tournament but because (the MAC) has been a one-team bid we just haven’t been able to get over the top in tournament play.

“The RPI — the power of the league — has held us back.”

When Maloney was head coach at Michigan, the Big Ten had bids for the conference champion and an at-large bid — something not enjoyed by the MAC.

“I talk about it a lot with the other coaches. There’s going when we can get two teams in. I don’t know if this is the year or not. Our conference is winning some games out of conference.

“The Mid-American Conference is at the highest level its been in a long, long time.”

For example: Kent State beat No. 2-ranked Mississippi State Saturday, March 6.

“The difference between David and Goliath isn’t really that big,” say Maloney.

Next up for Ball State is a three-game series March 12-14 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

The Cardinals is scheduled to open the home portion of their season with a four-game set March 19-21 against MAC foe Western Michigan.