YPSILANTI, Mich. – Ryan Powers carried a shutout into the seventh inning and the Miami baseball team held off a late Eastern Michigan rally to post a 9-7 win on Sunday.
The victory is Miami’s fifth straight and moves it to 18-20 overall and 8-7 in the Mid-American Conference.
After erupting for 16 hits on Saturday, the RedHawks’ offense picked up right where they left off in the first inning. Steve Sada led off the game with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Chad Sedio then drove him in with a sacrifice fly to put the first run on the board. Not content with just one run, Gary Russo belted his sixth homer of the year with two away, starting a streak of four-straight MU hits. With the bases loaded, Ryan Elble was hit by a pitch to force in a third run, putting the Red and White ahead 3-0 after half an inning.
Miami added two more runs in the third when Matt Honchel sliced a triple down the left field line to score Max Andresen with one out. Elble drove in his second run in as many plate appearances when he lofted a sacrifice fly to bring Honchel around and put MU on top 5-0. That RBI ended EMU starter Jake Andrews’ afternoon.
Powers was magnificent early on, retiring the first 11 batters he faced. Lee Longo ended hopes of a perfect game with a two-out double in the bottom of the fourth. Powers recovered by fanning Adam Sonabend to keep Miami up by five.
The RedHawks continued adding on to their lead in the top of the sixth. After subbing into the game during the fourth, Jacob Wolf doubled with one away and scored two batters later on Dan Walsh’s RBI triple. That knock gave the Red and White a 6-0 lead.
With two outs in the seventh, Eastern Michigan (13-24, 2-13 MAC) scored its first runs against Miami starting pitchers this weekend. Dae Bowden tripled in a run with two outs and Adam Dennison singled to cut the RedHawks’ lead to 6-2. Those runs ended a streak of 21.1 scoreless innings by Miami starters in the series.
The first two EMU batters reached to start the bottom of the eighth, which ended Powers’ afternoon. Brad Schwartz came out of the pen and induced a fly out right away. However, a one-out single by Longo brought the Eagles within 6-3 and brought the tying run to the plate. Schwartz eluded further trouble by forcing Sonabend to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play.
Miami added some insurance runs in the top of the ninth, all of which came with two outs. Andresen drew a walk and scored when John Crummy smacked a double to right field. A two-out error by EMU scored Crummy and kept the inning alive by allowing Honchel to reach first. After Honchel stole second, Elble singled him home to double MU’s lead at 9-3 entering the bottom of the ninth.
Things got a bit worrisome in the Eagles’ final at-bats. Michael Mioduszewski was hit and Bowden singled to put two aboard right away. After Charles Zubrod struck out a batter, Tony Dileo drove in both runners with a pinch-hit two-run double. He scored himself on a Marquise Gill triple that cut the RedHawks’ lead to 9-6. After a fly ball led to the second out, John Rubino singled home Gill to bring the tying run to the dish in a 9-7 contest, but Zubrod retired Longo on a fielder’s choice grounder that secured a weekend sweep.
Powers (4-3) won his third-straight start after tossing seven strong innings. The junior took a shutout into the seventh inning and limited the Eagles to three runs on five hits. He walked only one batter and struck out three.
Five different Miami batters recorded multi-hit games with both Sada and Honchel going 3-for-5. Walsh and Andresen went 2-for-4 and Crummy finished the day 2-for-5. Additionally, Elble drove in three of the RedHawks’ nine runs.
Miami begins a nine-game home stand when it hosts Dayton on Tuesday at 6 p.m.