May 27, 2011
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- Ryan Curl doubled and scored twice and made a diving catch in the seventh to save at least a run, helping Miami to a 5-2 win over Central Michigan in the bracket final at the Mid-American Conference Baseball Championship.
The RedHawks will play the winner of the other bracket -- either Kent State or Eastern Michigan -- in the one-game final tomorrow afternoon at approximately 3 p.m.
Sam Dawes slammed the door in the ninth for his eighth save.
Both of Curl's doubles came as the lead off batter. In the third, he laced a shot down the right field line, then advanced to third on Ryan Kaup's sacrifice. Ryan Brenner laced an RBI single over the mound into centerfield for a 1-0 lead.
Central Michigan (31-27) tied the game at 1 on Nate Theunuissen's solo home run in the fifth, but Miami immediately answered. On the first pitch in the bottom of the frame, Curl found the gap in right center. Again, he was sacrificed to third by Kaup and scored on a Brenner RBI, this time a sacrifice fly to left.
The Chippewas, who won 13-12 with two runs in the bottom of the ninth earlier in the day, responded. Tom Howard reached on an error by Kaup and was sacrificed before scoring easily on a Theunissen double off the left field wall. After a strikeout, Curl made the defensive play of the game, making a diving stab in right field to end the inning.
But for the second time, the RedHawks immediately retook the lead. Kevin Bower started their half of the seventh by just missing his second home run in three days, settling for a double. Pat Glass came in to pinch run and took third on Curl's sacrifice bunt.
That left Kaup to atone for his mistake and he delivered, lacing a double into the right field corner to make the score 3-2.
Miami again dodged a bullet in the eighth, as CMU had back-to-back one-out hits. But, after a groundout moved the runners up, Rosinski rallied from a 3-2 walk to load the bases to get out of the jam on a grounder to first.
Pinch hitter Nate Bowles plated two insurance runs with an infield single in the eighth. With two outs, Weldon had singled and Redeker had doubled.
Dawes threw 12 pitches in the ninth, getting two groundouts before a tapper back to the mound led to an underhanded toss to first to end the game.
Miami registered 11 hits total in the game with Weldon also adding a pair.