CLEVELAND – The Miami baseball team posted a clean sweep of the Mid-American Conference awards this week.
Senior left-handed pitcher Seth Varner (Batavia, Ohio/Clermont Northeastern) and sophomore outfielder Gary Russo (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day) were named the MAC East Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, by the league office on Monday.
Varner dazzled on the mound in last Friday’s series opener at Davidson, tossing eight shutout innings. The senior retired 15-straight batters at one point and carried a no-hitter through 7 1/3 innings. He earned his first win of the season by allowing just the lone hit while striking out eight batters and walking three. Varner’s season line improved to a 1-1 record with a 2.37 ERA and 22 strikeouts against six walks in 19 innings.
Russo posted a robust .643 on-base percentage while batting .500 over the weekend. The sophomore opened the weekend by going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and one RBI in Friday night’s 6-0 win over the Wildcats. He followed that up by driving in another run while finishing 2-for-4 with a walk in another Miami victory on Saturday. Russo ended the weekend by reaching base two more times (a single and a walk) while stealing his first base of the season on Sunday. For the year, Russo is batting .345 with a .472 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage in his first season with the RedHawks.
The weekly awards are the first received in both player’s collegiate careers.
Miami returns to the diamond on Friday when it opens up a three-game set at Louisville.