Peltier mashes Cardinals to sweep over Huskies


Mingda Wu

NIU junior second baseman Aaron Harper (22) retrieves the ball from his glove as a CMU runner lifts himself up from the base. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

By Alex Crowe, Assistant Sports Editor

DeKALB – Defensive miscues in the first two innings, sloppy pitching and three home runs from Cardinal graduate infielder Ryan Peltier helped the Ball State University Cardinals complete the three-game series sweep over NIU baseball Sunday in a run rule shortened game by a final score of 15-5. 

NIU (7-30, 4-13 MAC) dropped its sixth straight game with the loss. Ball State’s (26-13, 13-5 MAC) sweep of the Huskies helped them rebound after losing its prior six contests.

Peltier led the way for Ball State, smacking three home runs for seven RBIs in the contest. He hit home runs in three consecutive at bats – a three-run shot in the fourth inning, a solo shot in the sixth inning and a game-ending three run bomb in the seventh inning. 

The Huskie defense struggled early in Sunday’s game, committing three errors in the first two innings. An error at first base by junior infielder and outfielder Andrew Smart allowed what should have been the final out of the inning to reach base. 

After a single from Ball State, junior outfielder and first baseman Decker Scheffler brought home the first unearned run, Huskie junior pitcher Jacob Draeger allowed a two-run bomb off the bat of Cardinal graduate outfielder Andrew Wilhite to put NIU down 3-0 after the first inning. 

All runs scored by Ball State in the opening frame were unearned. 

NIU committed two more errors in the second inning to increase the Ball State lead. On a steal attempt from Cardinal graduate infielder Justin Conant, a throwing error by junior catcher and outfielder Colin Summerhill allowed Conant to take third base. Conant scored on a base hit by junior outfielder Nick Gregory.

One more Cardinal unearned run came home in the second inning on a wild pitch by Draeger to give Ball State a 5-0 lead after two innings, four of which were unearned. 

Huskie pitchers had a difficult time keeping Ball State’s offense at bay. The Cardinals scored at least one run in all seven innings. 

Draeger was on the hook for nine of Ball State’s 15 runs, but only five were earned runs. He pitched 3.1 innings and allowed seven hits and walked three batters. 

Redshirt junior pitcher Reagan Klawiter and senior pitcher Brandon Doty tossed the remaining innings for NIU, combining to allow six earned runs on six hits in three innings of work. 

After Ball State took the early advantage, junior infielder Aaron Harper doubled in junior infielder Eric Erato to get the Huskies on the board. 

Peltier took over the game in the fourth inning when he blasted his first home run of the game off Dreager to give Ball State a 9-2 cushion. 

Peltier rocked his second home run of the game in the sixth inning off Doty to give his squad an 11-2 advantage. 

The Huskies got some runs back in the top of the seventh. Harper hit his second RBI double of the game, followed by a sacrifice fly from Summerhill and an RBI single by senior outfielder Malik Peters to make the game 12-5.

The Cardinals put a stamp on the series sweep in the seventh inning when Peltier secured the run rule ending with his second three-run home run of the game – his seventh RBI. 


The Huskies return home to take on the University of Illinois Chicago Flames at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Ralph McKinzie Field at Walt and Janice Owens Park. Live stats will be available on SideArm Stats.