May 13, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio -- It was only fitting that a pair of seniors delivered in the clutch Friday to start the final weekend home series of the 2011 .season. Brad Gschwind hit a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th in the opener and Tyler Melling struck out a career-high 11 batters during the nightcap as the RedHawks earned 4-2 and 5-2 victories over Buffalo at McKie Field.
With the wins, Miami improves to 30-21 on the season (16-7 MAC), topping the 30-win plateau for the second time in three years. Buffalo falls to 12-35 overall and 2-21 in league play.
The RedHawks needed heroics just to get to extra innings in the first game as Adam Weisenburger hit a solo shot to left field with one out in the eighth to even the game at 2-2. Jon Edgington drew a one-out walk off reliever Kevin Hughes (2-4) before Gschwind delivered just his second home run of the season and fourth of his career. It was the first walk-off of his career at any level of baseball (collegiate, summer league, high school and little league).
Miami went ahead 1-0 in the second inning when Nate Bowles doubled and later scored on a double-play ground out. But Buffalo showed its character, bouncing back for two runs in the fourth to grab a 2-1 lead. Tom Murphy started the frame with a leadoff home run, before Eric Brice and Jordan Camp doubled and singled in back-to-back at-bats after two outs had been recorded.
Both starters were in control most of the game, pitching the full nine innings of regulation. Miami's Mac Thoreson struck out a career-high 10 batters, scattering 12 hits. Buffalo's Josh Edwards, allowed 10 hits and two walks, but struck out four. Matt Rosinski (2-2) picked up the win for the RedHawks, pitching a scoreless 10th. He walked one batter, but struck out two and got a flyout.
The nightcap offered a little more comfort for Miami as the RedHawks outhit Buffalo 12-6 and held a 5-0 lead until the final frame. Marcus Makuch singled and scored in the second to open the scoring. Ryan Brenner delivered the RBI with a liner to left center.
The RedHawks added to the margin with three in the fourth, including a two-run sacrifice fly that was caught just short of the 400-foot sign in straight-away centerfield. Ryan Kaup, Brenner and Edgington all reached on infield singles before Gschwind hit a sacrifice fly to center. Everyone advanced on the play, making the lead 2-0 and putting runners at second and third. Kyle Weldon then got a hold of a fastball, sending UB's Matt Pollack to deep center field. With the team's fastest runners on base, Miami Head Coach Dan Simonds had both runners tag and didn't hesitate sending Edgington all the way. The play at the plate was close, but the RedHawk second baseman maneuvered around the tag for a 4-0 advantage.
Miami added another run in the seventh when Weldon tripled to right center and came home on an Adam Weisenburger sacrifice fly.
Melling (7-2) allowed an unearned run in the eighth and walked the first batter in the ninth before being relieved. He fanned 11 Bulls, allowing just four hits and two runs (one earned). His previous best was eight Ks on three occasions.
Brandon Adkins pitched the ninth and struck out a pair, but allowed the inherited runner to score after conceding a pair of hits.
Miami's pitchers finished the doubleheader with 25 strikeouts against Buffalo, which came into the day hitting .282 as a team. Every Bull in the game two lineup struckout at least once. Edgington and Bryce Redeker each recorded four hits, while Kaup had three hits over the two contests.
PLEASE NOTE that the two teams will wrap up the series tomorrow at 12 noon with a single game. Senior Day festivities for 10 RedHawks will start at about 11:45 a.m.