May 9, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio -- Junior Nate Bowles drove in two runs with three hits and freshman Scott Slappey delivered a career-best three hits as Miami grabbed an early lead and hung on for a 7-5 win over rival Cincinnati Wednesday night at McKie Field. The win was the RedHawks' fifth in a row, tied for their longest winning streak of the season.
Playing its final non-conference game of the year Miami (26-23) used nine pitchers in an effort to get some work for the bullpen. Clay Cinnamon, a right-hander who had his number called third, earned his first collegiate win by pitching the fourth inning and into the fifth. He allowed one hit and struck out three in retiring five of the seven batters he faced.
Cincinnati, 14-36 and losers of 12 of its last 13, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a leadoff triple and one-out single, but Miami tied the game in the second. Matt Honchel led off with a walk, then took third on a double to left center by Slappey. Ryan Curl singled sharply to right to even the game at 1.
The RedHawks seized control in the fourth by scoring four runs. Curl walked and stole second before Max Andresen walked. After a sacrifice moved the runners one base, a third walk in the inning, this one on Jacob Wolf, chased UC starter and loser Brad Mergen (0-6). Ryan Brenner greeted reliever Art Warren with a double into the gap in left center for two runs batted in, then Bowles hit the next pitch into center field to drive two more in.
Honchel and Slappey led off the fifth with back-to-back singles to set up another run as Cory Hough, the third of four Bearcat pitchers uncorked a wild pitch to make the score 6-1.
But Cincinnati would claw its way back into the game. The Bearcats score two in the sixth on just two hits against Seth Varner. Ethan McAlpine was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, then one-out later, Joey Bielek bounced into a run-scoring fielder's choice, cutting the lead to 6-3.
In the eighth, two more runs closed the gap to a 6-5. UC started the inning with a double, but a pair of wild pitches, the latter on a strikeout, put runners on the corners. Bielek hit the first pitch he saw into left for a run-scoring single that brought Nate Williams in from the bullpen. The evening started rough for the redshirt freshman uncorked a wild pitch, then allowed an RBI single and full-count walk to load the bases. But he battled back, striking out a pinch-hitter and getting a double-play grounder to preserve the lead.
Miami would add an insurance run in the eighth when Honchel delivered a two-out single to score Bowles, who had doubled.
Senior Matt Rosinski shut the door in the ninth, getting a leadoff out before an error brought the tying run to the plate. He struck out the No. 8 hitter before getting a bouncer to third to earn his eighth save of the year, tying for sixth on Miami's single-season chart.
Justin Glass paced Cincinnati with three hits and an RBI in three at-bats, while T.J. Jones and Bielek each added a pair of hits.
Miami closes the season on the road with key Mid-American Conference series at Kent State this weekend and at Ohio May 17-19. The Golden Flashes have won nine straight games and have already clinched the East Division title with an 18-3 league mark. The RedHawks are tied for seventh in the league standings, with a two-game lead in the race for a spot in the eight-team MAC Championship to be held later this month.