OXFORD, Ohio -- For the first time this season, Miami turns its attention to local rivals when it competes in the Fifth Annual Joe Nuxhall Classic. This year’s edition takes place in Cincinnati at Marge Schott Stadium on the UC campus.
In first-round action Tuesday, Miami faces Wright State at 3 p.m., while Xavier and the Bearcats play at 7. On Wednesday, the winners will play for the championship, while the losers meet in the third-place game. Cincinnati will play at 7 p.m. regardless of which pairing it competes in.
The RedHawks stand 14-13 overall after taking two of three from Akron over the weekend. Miami was in postition to sweep Sunday, but suffered a heartbreaking 10-9 loss when the Zips completed a three-run rally in the bottom of the 14th inning.
Wright State stands 14-16 overall, stepping out of Horizon League play over the weekend with a three-game set against Penn State. The Raiders won two games before losing on Sunday.
Xavier is 14-14 after taking three straight from Dayton, while Cincinnati is 11-18 overall, coming off a sweep at the hands of Louisville.
Sophomore Matt Honchel took over the team batting lead over the weekend, although his average dipped a little to .354. He has scored 25 times and has driven in 14 runs, possessing a .438 on-base percentage.
As a team, Miami is batting .270 with more than a quarter of its hits going for extra bases.
Miami will send sophomore Brian Thene to the mound on Tuesday. The lefty is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA, oepning in three of his five appearances. Wednesday’s starter is undecided after Sunday’s extra-inning affair needed six pitchers overall and 11.2 innings from the bullpen. As a staff, Miami has a 4.63 ERA and is holding opponents to a .263 batting average.