OXFORD, Ohio -- Sophomore Ryan Elble's bases-loaded double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh reversed a 3-2 deficit and lifted Miami to a 6-4 win over Eastern Michigan in the nightcap of a Mid-American Conference doubleheader Saturday at McKie Field. The RedHawks captured the opener 13-6 to take all three games from the Eagles.
Miami (10-10, 3-0) registered 32 hits on the day, 17 in the opener and 15 in the nightcap. Alex Johnson, Dan Walsh and John Crummy all had three hits in game one, while Kevin Bower reached that total in the second. Elble finished the doubleheader 3-for-8 with three runs scored and a career-high four RBIs.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first to start the day, the RedHawks tallied nine unanswered runs over the first four innings. An run on an error in the first made the score 2-1, then Miami took a 3-2 lead on an RBI single by Honchel and a sacrifice fly by Bower in the second.
A five-run third, highlighted by a two-run single by Walsh and two more sacrifice flies, broke the game open. Miami added a run in the fourth when Walsh singled in Elble for one his career-high four runs batted in.
Eastern Michigan (9-13, 0-3) tried to rally with two runs in the fifth, but the RedHawks got one back in their half of the inning on an RBI single by Scott Slappey, then added two more in the sixth, the latter on an double down the left field line by Johnson.
The Eagles got one in the eighth and one in the ninth, while Miami tallied its final run in the eighth for the victory. Mac Thoreson pitched six solid innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and five hits. He walked three and struck out three in improving to 1-3 on the season.
Miami jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game two when Slappey drove in Honchel with a single to center. The RedHawks could have tallied more but Elble grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded, making his game-winner in the seventh even more dramatic.
Eastern Michigan took the lead with a pair of runs in the second and kept the lead for starter Brian Hill (1-1) until the seventh. The Eagles' hurler got the first out before giving up back-to-back singles to Bower and Johnson. After the second out, he hit Crummy to load the bases, setting up Elble for a 2-2 drive that found the gap over a diving left fielder. Walsh followed with a triple to deep right center, making the score 6-3.
Eastern closed the gap with a run in the eighth off Ryan Powers. The sophomore gave up a leadoff double and later threw a wild pitch that allowed the runner to score, but he buckled down to retire six straight for his first save. Shane Kriss (1-0) earned his first career win by pitching a perfect seventh before the Miami rally.
Miami starter Nathan Williams held the Eagles in check for most of the contests, allowing three runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. He walked three and struck out five in the no-decision.
The doubleheader win gave Miami a sweep of the opening MAC weekend for the second time in three years. Last season, Eastern Michigan won two of three from the RedHawks in Ypsilanti.
Miami wraps up its current homestand Tuesday at 6 p.m. against local rival Xavier. Visit MURedHawks.com or follow @MiamiOHBaseball for updates as expected severe weather could force changes.