OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami spotted Ohio a pair of four-run leads midway through the contest, but big rallies in the fifth and sixth innings lifted the RedHawks to a 12-7 victory Thursday night at McKie Field. With the victory and an earlier Central Michigan loss, Miami clinched a berth in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Every RedHawk in the lineup had at least one hit, with Chad Sedio, Kevin Bower and Alex Johnson each registering a pair. Sedio drove in three runs, all on a bases-loaded double during the four-run fifth.
After opening a 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI double by Johnson, Miami faced the first of its big deficits when Ohio tallied five runs in the third. The Bobcats put the first two runners on, then after an error on a sacrifice, saw three RBI singles among the next five batters. A successful double steal yielded the fifth run of the frame.
Miami (24-27, 13-12) got some help in the fourth to claw its way back. John Crummy reached on an error and went to second on a single by Bower. After an out, Bowles doubled down the right field line for the first run. After the second out, Ryan Elble tripled into the gap in left center, cutting the deficit to 5-4.
Ohio (13-38, 8-17) added some insurance in the fifth, plating two runs on two hits for a 7-4 lead, but the RedHawks answered right back. Jake Romano singled and took third on a one-out, ground-rule double by Crummy. After a pitching change and hit-batter, Sedio -- who entered the game 3-for-5 this year with the bases loaded -- brought all three runners home and tied the game at 7-7 with a double to left center. An RBI groundout by Bowles after Sedio stole third put Miami up for good.
But the RedHawks added three runs in the sixth and a run in the eighth for good measure. A fielder's choice by Crummy plated a run, then Bower singled up the middle for an RBI. A sacrifice fly by Bowles finished off the sixth. An error led to the final Miami run.
Brooks Fiala (6-5) struck out six over seven innings of work to earn the win. He allowed seven hits and seven runs, although only five were earned. Charles Zubrod pitched the final two frames, retiring all six of the seven Bobcats he faced, three by strikeout.
Brett Barber, the second of five Ohio pitchers, took the loss to fall to 2-6. He came in during the fifth and got the final two outs of the inning, but not before allowing three runs.
The two teams continue their series tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at McKie Field.