The Cardinals, which started the day in a tie for seventh in the 14-team field, were in and out of fifth position all day on a jumbled middle portion of the leaderboard. Ball State closed with all pars on its final hole of regulation, the ninth, except for an up-and-down birdie from Gasser that proved to be just what the team needed to get into the playoff.
Ball State will be making its 13th all-time appearance at Nationals. Each of their previous appearances came before there were regional rounds to get through.
The Cardinals joined California, TCU, Saint Mary’s and Southern California in advancing from the Pullman Regional. The top-ranked Bears finished the tournament at 43-under par, while TCU climbed up on the final day to grab second place at 23-under. Saint Mary’s was third and USC was fourth.
USC’s Sam Smith and California’s Michael Weaver tied for individual medalist honors at 14-under.