OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University baseball team stormed back from an early 4-0 deficit, but never led Cincinnati in a 7-4 defeat in the Joe Nuxhall Classic title game on Wednesday.
MU drops to 13-18 with the setback, which snapped its three-game winning streak.
The Bearcats drew first blood when Ian Happ launched his third home run of the season down the right field line to lead off the second. Connor McVey hit a two-run triple and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to put Cincinnati ahead 4-0 after an inning and a half.
Gary Russo belted the second pitch he saw over the scoreboard in left center to put the Red and White on the board in the bottom of the second. The RedHawks put two more runners on via an error and a Chad Sedio walk with one out. Another UC error brought Scott Slappey around to cut the deficit to 4-3 after two innings.
The RedHawks evened the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth when Ryan Elble bounced a single through the left side to score Slappey with two outs. However, the Bearcats regained the lead with two more in the fifth on Forrest Perron’s bunt single and Devin Wenzel’s sacrifice fly to go up 6-4.
After tying the score in the fourth inning, the Red and White drew one walk for their lone base runner over the next three innings. UC added another run in the top of the eighth when Jake Richmond hit a double into the left field corner which scored McVey, putting MU behind by a 7-4 score.
Miami started putting together a rally in the ninth as Slappey led off the frame with a single. For the second time of the night, Sedio crushed a ball deep to right field, but it was caught just in front of the wall. That was one of several long hard-hit fly outs the Red and White hit into on Wednesday. With two away, Elble doubled over Happ’s head in center to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Grant Walker finished a complete game six hitter by forcing a ground out on the very next pitch to end the contest.
Charlie Suich (1-2) made his first collegiate start and allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings of work. Brad Schwartz bridged the gap for MU, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five batters in relief. Jacob Banks also got into the game and worked a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout. Russo and Elble combined for four of MU’s six hits, with each going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The RedHawks return to Mid-American Conference play on Friday when they open a three-game series at Kent State. First pitch of the series opener is at 6 p.m.