Tuesday, April 1 at Cincinnati (9-16; 1-5 AAC) • 6:30 p.m. • Marge Schott Stadium • Cincinnati, Ohio
Wednesday, April 2 at Indiana (15-10; 5-1 Big Ten) • 6:05 p.m. • Bart Kaufman Field • Bloomington, Ind.
Friday-Sunday, April 4-6 vs. Akron (12-11; 5-1 MAC) • 6:00/3:00/1:00 p.m.
McKie Field at Hayden Park • Oxford, Ohio
AROUND THE HORN
• In six MAC games, Miami’s starting pitchers have a 2.03 ERA in 44.1 innings (over seven innings per start).
• After averaging 6.4 runs per game and hitting .306 through the first 18 games (9-9), the RedHawks are 1-6 with a .204 average and 2.9 runs per game in their last seven games.
• Seth Varner is 4-0 with a 2.94 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 33.2 innings over his last five starts.
• Scott Slappey has reached base safely in 20 of his 21 starts.
• Freshman Steve Sada hit a team-high .500 (7-for-14) in five games last week.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Charles Zubrod (Sr. RHP), 0-1, 7.64 ERA, 17.2 IP, 16 H, 19 R, 15 ER, 11 BB, 14 K
Grant Walker (Jr. RHP), 0-3, 7.08 ERA, 20.1 IP, 31 H, 21 R, 16 ER, 5 BB, 14 K
Christian Bokich (Fr. RHP), 0-0, 5.79 ERA, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Sullivan Stadler (So. LHP), 1-1, 5.23 ERA, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Seth Varner (Sr. LHP), 4-1, 3.22 ERA, 44.2 IP, 39 H, 20 R, 16 ER, 15 BB, 49 K
John Valek (So. LHP), 2-2, 2.52 ERA, 35.2 IP, 43 H, 15 R, 10 ER, 12 BB, 18 K
Nathan Williams (Jr. RHP), 1-4, 6.13 ERA, 39.2 IP, 46 H, 33 R, 27 ER, 16 BB, 27 K
JT Brubaker (So. RHP), 2-1, 4.13 ERA, 28.1 IP, 28 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 11 BB, 20 K
Ryan Powers (Jr. RHP), 1-3, 5.26 ERA, 39.1 IP, 39 H, 25 R, 23 ER, 23 BB, 27 K
Myles McVeigh (Jr. RHP), 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 BB, 13 K
Miami has another busy week, playing five games with midweek trips to Cincinnati (Tuesday) and Indiana (Wednesday) and a home series against Mid-American Conference foe Akron (Friday-Sunday).
ABOUT CINCINNATI: The Bearcats are off to a 9-16 start, dropping five of their last six since conference play started. UC is averaging only 4.6 runs while batting .251 on the season. Probable starter Grant Walker has a 7.08 ERA in two starts as one of eight pitchers to start at least once. Individually, Ian Happ (.348), Will Drake (.345) and Matt Williams (.337) are all hitting above .300.
ABOUT INDIANA: The Hoosiers are coming off a trip to last year’s College World Series and are presently 15-10 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play. IU has a 2.67 ERA as a team. Offensively, the Hoosiers are batting .270 and averaging 4.8 runs per game with Dustin DeMuth (.379), Sam Travis (.373), Kyle Schwarber (.333) and Casey Rodrigue (.305) all batting above .300 on the year.
ABOUT AKRON: The Zips have come out the gates strong with a 5-1 MAC record (12-11 overall). The Zips lead the conference with a .288 average. Among regulars, Devan Ahart (.371), Kris Simonton (.333), Brian Lees (.323) and Joey Havrilak (.309) are batting .300 or higher. Among qualified pitchers, John Valek’s 2.52 ERA ranks seventh in the MAC.
SERIES HISTORY: Miami leads Cincinnati by a 102-63-1 mark in 166 all-time meetings, though trails Indiana 36-40. The RedHawks also own a 51-23 in their series against the Zips.
LAST TIME OUT: Miami turned in three strong starting pitching performances at Central Michigan, but could not mount enough offense in a three-game set in Mount Pleasant. CMU posted an 8-4 comeback win over MU with a five-run seventh in Saturday’s opener. The RedHawks were then held to six total hits in a doubleheader against the Chippewas on Sunday, dropping both contests by scores of 4-1 and 2-1.
COMING AROUND: Freshman second baseman Steve Sada is starting to find his own after a slow start to the season. After beginning the year 1-for-18 in the first four games, Sada is batting a team-high .365 with a .492 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage in his last 20 games (16 starts). He has drawn 13 walks while striking out only four times in 52 at-bats during that span.
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 .361/.478/.639 line with two homers and eight RBI in 12 games (10 starts) at shortstop.
ROTATION STRIDES: The RedHawks’ starting rotation has really come on since the start of conference play. The weekend staff of Seth Varner, Nathan Williams and Ryan Powers has allowed just 14 runs (10 earned) in 44.1 innings for a 2.03 ERA in six MAC games. The trio has pitched at least six innings in every league contest, averaging over seven innings per start with a 1.04 WHIP.
ILL-TIMED SLUMP: While the Red and White rotation has been strong since the start of MAC play, their offense has gone into a slump at an inopportune time. After batting .306 and averaging 6.4 runs through the first 18 games of the year, MU is hitting only .205 and averaging 2.9 runs per game over its last seven contests. Miami still ranks as one of the top offensive teams in the MAC overall, ranking second in the league with a .279 average while averaging 5.7 runs per game.