ATHENS, Ohio – Eleven of the Miami baseball team’s 22 hits went for extra bases as the RedHawks scored early and often to top Ohio, 16-1, in their regular season finale on Saturday.
The victory gives MU its second-straight Mid-American Conference series sweep and moves it to 29-25 overall and 18-9 in MAC play. Miami enters the MAC Tournament on a seven-game winning streak.
“Feels good to put things together offensively,” Miami head coach Danny Hayden said. “This weekend went perfect for getting us on schedule pitching wise. Plus, and swinging the bats like we are right now is a good feeling going into next week All of our arms got some work this weekend and we got to clear our bench and get other guys some at bats. We’ve got to figure out where to hit some guys right now with the way they are batting.”
An early error placed Ryan Elble at second base to put the RedHawks in business right away. Dan Walsh singled him home to get Miami on the board. He scored two batters later when Gary Russo blasted his ninth home run of the year to give MU a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
After Ryan Powers put up a zero in the bottom of the first, the first three Miami batters reached to start the second. Kendall Johnson opened the frame with a double and came around when Steve Sada tripled off the wall in right. With the lineup turned over, Elble cracked a single up the middle to bring Sada around and eventually scored on John Crummy’s RBI double to make it 6-0 and chase Ohio starter Connnor Sitz with just one batter retired in the second inning.
Taylor Emody singled with one out to give the Bobcats their first hit in the bottom of the second. He eventually moved to second on a wild pitch, but Powers stranded him there by fanning Connor Callery to end the frame.
After trading zeroes in the third, the RedHawks played long ball once again in the fourth. Crummy launched a two-run shot, giving him a homer in three-straight games, to score Elble after he doubled earlier in the inning. Russo followed that with his second homer of the day to give the Red and White a 9-0 advantage.
Powers delivered a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth to bring the Red and White back to the plate in the fifth. Once again, the RedHawks’ offense put up a crooked number. With one out, Elble singled and Walsh doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Crummy pulled a single through the infield to score both, giving him three-straight hits and five runs driven in. A double by Russo put runners at second and third once more. Crummy came around to score on a passed ball and Matt Honchel’s infield single scored Russo to give the RedHawks a 13-0 lead after five innings of play.
In the sixth, Elble drove in Sada with an RBI groundout to make it a 14-0 ballgame. The Bobcats finally got on the board in the bottom of the frame after consecutive wild pitches plated Jake Madsen to cut the Redhawks’ lead to 14-1. Miami capped its scoring in the ninth on an RBI single by Scott Slappey and an RBI double by Jacob Wolf that upped the lead to 16-1.
Powers logged five scoreless innings to move to 8-3 this season, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out four batters. The RedHawks used Charlie Suich, Wynston McMartin, Ryan Marske, Alex Brown and Charles Zubrod for the last four innings and they yielded just one unearned run on two hits and a walk in that span.
Miami opens the MAC Tournament as the third seed against sixth-seeded Buffalo on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.