Miami begins the final homestand of the 2013 season this weekend when it hosts Buffalo in a key Mid-American Conference East Division matchup. The Bulls lead the overall conference standings with a 15-5 record, 4½ games ahead of the RedHawks, who sit tied for fourth.
Game times for the series are 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (to accomodate graduation ceremonies) and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Miami (22-25, 11-10) dropped two of three at Bowling Green last weekend, winning the Saturday game, 9-1. The Falcons took the opener 5-4 in walk-off fashion, while holding off a RedHawk rally on Sunday 10-8. Miami had this week off due to final exams.
Buffalo (27-19, 15-5) is coming off a doubleheader split with Niagara on Tuesday. The Bulls took the first of the seven-inning games, 9-1, but lost the nightcap, 4-3.
Freshman Jake Romano continues to lead Miami’s offensive attack, raising his average to .385 last weekend. He is on a nine-game hitting streak, butting .474 during that span. Junior John Crummy stands second overall at .357, while sophomore Matt Honchel ranks third at .330.
Alex Johnson leads the club in home runs (three) and runs batted in (33).
Miami will send its two regulars to the mound to open the series, but is undecided on the Sunday starter. Senior righty Brooks Fiala makes his 13th straight series-opening start Friday. He is 5-5 overall with a 2.66 ERA and leads the team with 79 Ks.
Senior right-hander Mac Thoreson (4-5, 5.32) is slated to throw in his usual spot Saturday, claiming wins in three of his last five decisions.
The RedHawks will choose between a pair of sophomores on Sunday. Right-hander Nathan Williams (4-2, 4.28) opened the first nine weeks, while lefty Seth Varner (1-1, 5.88) has drawn the last three series finales.