Games 23-25; Miami (10-12; 2-1 MAC) at Central Michigan (13-10; 3-0 MAC)
Friday, March 28 • 3:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 29 • 2:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 30 • 1:05 p.m.
Theunissen Stadium • Mount Pleasant, Mich.
AROUND THE HORN
• The RedHawks’ starting pitchers posted a 1.52 ERA in the opening weekend of MAC play against Western Michigan. All three starters (Seth Varner, Nathan Williams and Ryan Powers) pitched at least seven innings against the Broncos.
• Since making his first start of the season on March 11, Ryan Elble is batting .462 with a .559 on-base percentage and an .846 slugging percentage. He has six extra-base hits (including two homers) in nine games (seven starts).
• Seth Varner has won his last four starts and boasts a 3.25 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched during that span.
• Scott Slappey has hit safely in 16 of his 18 starts this season.
• Matt Honchel is batting .375 (6-for-16) in his last four games.
• In his past two starts, Nathan Williams has a 2.30 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP over 15.2 innings pitched.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Seth Varner (Sr. LHP), 4-1, 3.49 ERA, 38.2 IP, 35 H, 18 R, 15 ER, 12 BB, 42 K
Jordan Foley (Jr. RHP), 3-2, 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 34 H, 16 R, 13 ER, 16 BB, 35 K
Nathan Williams (Jr. RHP), 1-3, 6.47 ERA, 32.0 IP, 38 H, 29 R, 23 ER, 14 BB, 24 K
Pat Kaminska (Sr. RHP), 4-1, 1.93 ERA, 42.0 IP, 36 H, 13 R, 9 ER, 6 BB, 27 K
Ryan Powers (Jr. RHP), 1-2, 6.12 ERA, 32.1 IP, 36 H, 23 R, 22 ER, 19 BB, 23 K
Nick Deeg (Fr. LHP), 2-1, 3.93 ERA, 36.2 IP, 42 H, 20 R, 16 ER, 9 BB, 28 K
Miami plays its first road conference series of the year when it takes on MAC West Co-Leader Central Michigan for a three-game set beginning on Friday afternoon at 3:05 p.m.
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Chippewas were the lone team to post a sweep on the first weekend of MAC play. CMU leads the league with a 2.91 ERA, with Pat Kaminska’s 1.93 clip leading the team. The Chippewas also lead the conference with 42 stolen bases, paced by Nick Regnier’s 18 steals in 18 attempts. Regnier also leads CMU with a .370 average.
SERIES HISTORY: In 102 all-time meetings, Central Michigan leads the series with a 60-42 record. The RedHawks eliminated the Chippewas from last season’s MAC Tournament by posting a 6-5 victory in their last meeting on May 23rd.
LAST TIME OUT: Miami dropped both games of its midweek non-conference series at Tennessee Tech. The Red and White’s potent lineup struggled in the surprisingly cold conditions in Cookeville on Tuesday, notching only two hits in a 4-1 loss. Ryan Elble hit two of Miami’s three home runs on Wednesday, but TTU scored in all but two innings to top MU 13-5 in the series finale.
FORCING HIMSELF IN: Junior Ryan Elble found it difficult to get into Miami’s lineup over the first few weeks of the season, but he is showing no desire to go back on the bench with his play. Elble made his first start of the season on March 11 after receiving only two at-bats in the first 12 games of the season. Since then, Elble has a .462/.559/.846 line with two homers and seven RBI in nine games (seven starts) at shortstop.
EARNING HARDWARE: The Red and White’s individual standouts are garnering recognition from the MAC over the past month. At least one Miami player has earned a MAC East Player or Pitcher of the Week award for the past four weeks, with Dan Walsh’s Player of the Week award extending that streak on March 24.
STRONG TURN: While senior Seth Varner has set the tone on the mound on Friday nights, his rotation mates showed signs of the same effectiveness against Western Michigan in the MAC opening series March 21-23, posting a 1.52 ERA. After Varner picked up a win by limiting WMU to three runs in seven innings on March 21, Nathan Williams allowed only two runs in a complete game five-hitter on March 22. Ryan Powers closed the series by taking a shutout into the eighth inning, allowing just one run in 7.2 innings.