Games 52-54: Miami (26-25, 15-9 MAC) at Ohio (11-36, 7-17 MAC)
Thursday, May 15 • 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 16 • 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 17 • 1:00 p.m.
Bob Wren Stadium • Athens, Ohio
AROUND THE HORN
• Miami has won five of its last six MAC series (four straight) and has claimed 11 of its last 13 league games.
• Senior lefty Seth Varner has pitched at least eight innings in his last three starts and struck out 33 batters in 25 innings.
• In 24 MAC games, the RedHawks’ starting pitchers have pitched at least six innings 22 times and posted 19 quality starts.
• Matt Honchel is on an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 12-straight contests.
• The RedHawks scored 23 runs in a three-game sweep at Buffalo after scoring just 30 runs in the previous 10 games.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Seth Varner (Sr. LHP), 6-2, 2.66 ERA, 92.1 IP, 77 H, 33 R, 27 ER, 23 BB, 103 K
Jake Roehn (Fr. RHP), 4-7, 4.90 ERA, 75.1 IP, 83 H, 55 R, 41 ER, 26 BB, 51 K
Nathan Williams (Jr. RHP), 5-6, 5.85 ERA, 75.1 IP, 83 H, 56 R, 49 ER, 31 BB, 50 K
Jake Rudnicki (Fr. RHP) 2-2 4.76 13-12 68.0 73 38 36 31 45
Ryan Powers (Jr. RHP), 7-3, 4.66 ERA, 73.1 IP, 74 H, 42 R, 38 ER, 32 BB, 52 K
Connor Sitz (So. RHP), 0-8, 5.23 ERA, 51.2 IP, 65 H, 39 R, 30 ER, 15 BB, 23 K
Miami hopes to secure its first MAC East title since 2005 when it heads out to Athens, Ohio for a three-game set against the Bobcats.
ABOUT OHIO (11-36, 7-17 MAC)
• Despite being eliminated from the MAC Tournament, the Bobcats are 5-4 in their last nine league games, including 4-2 at home.
• In MAC play, Jake Madsen ranks sixth in the league with a .373 average.
• Additionally, Mitch Longo is hitting .346 overall to pace OU (seventh).
• Ohio leads Miami 124-102-1 in the all-time series, though MU has won two of three in each of the past two seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: Miami’s offense came to life in Buffalo and the RedHawks were able to hold off some rallies to sweep the Bulls and grab sole possession of first place in the MAC East. After an 8-3 lead disappeared in the ninth inning on Friday, Matt Honchel’s clutch RBI single in the 11th delivered a 9-8 win to start things off. The Red and White belted three home runs to top the Bulls 9-7 in game two before finishing a sweep thanks to eight strong innings by Charles Zubrod in a 5-4 triumph.
QUITE THE ROLL
• Facing a sweep at the hands of perennial MAC power Kent State on April 13, Miami salvaged a win by grinding out a 6-4 victory.
• That win started an impressive string where the RedHawks won 11 of their next 13 MAC contests to go from 4-7 to leading the MAC East at 15-9.
• Ten of the RedHawks’ 11 wins in that stretch have come by one or two runs.
• Miami is a perfect 7-0 on the road during this streak.
NOT SO CRUMMY
• Senior first-baseman John Crummy is hitting his stride at just the right time for the RedHawks, using an 8-for-12 week to raise his average to .301.
• Crummy has batted .300 or batter in each of the last two seasons and provided 14 extra base-hits in 2013. His four extra base hits (3 2B, 1 HR) in four games last week nearly doubled his season total to nine.
• In 24 MAC games, Miami’s starting pitchers have a 3.06 ERA.
• RedHawks’ starters have tossed 170.1 innings, averaging over seven innings per start in league play.
• MU’s starters have logged at least six innings in 22 of 24 MAC games.
GRAB A PEN
• Despite the emergence of the weekend rotation, the MU bullpen has been a bit of a concern. Relievers have compiled a 6.15 ERA with a 7.25 mark in MAC play.
• Ryan Haynes (2.57 ERA) is the only reliever that has posted an ERA under four out of the bullpen.
• Five players have combined for MU’s 12 saves, led by Charles Zubrod’s four.