After 17 games against a variety of teams, the Mid-American Conference season opens this weekend when Miami welcomes Eastern Michigan to Oxford.


Due to unfavorable weather, Friday’s game will now start at 4 p.m. and the teams will play a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon.


Miami (7-10) has lost three straight games since pulling back to .500 during the Spring Break trip. The latest two losses came at the hands of 22nd-ranked Indiana, 11-2 in Oxford Tuesday and 15-1 in Bloomington on Wednesday.


Freshman Jake Romano leads the team in hitting with a .381 average in six appearances. Sophomore Matt Honchel is the top regular with a .338 average. Nate Bowles and Kevin Bower are next, hitting .302.


Alex Johnson and Matt Packer are tied for the team lead in home runs with two, while Johnson has driven in a club-best 13 runs. Bowles and Bower are right behind with 12.


Miami will send a trio of right-handers to the mound this weekend, following the rotation used throughout the early season.


Senior Brooks Fiala will open on Friday. He is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA, but is the reigning MAC East Pitcher of the Week. In his last outing, he threw a two-hit, complete-game shutout against Navy, striking out 13. He enters the EMU game with a 16.2 scoreless innings streak.


Fiala is ranked 18th nationally -- first in the MAC -- with 40 strikeouts.

Senior Mac Thoreson is slated to throw the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. A mainstay in the RedHawks’ rotation the last three years, Thoreson has struggled in the early season, losing all three decisions and holding an 8.24 ERA.


Sophomore Nathan Williams rounds out the starters, throwing the second game on Saturday. He is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA.