May 9, 2011

Rivals Miami and Cincinnati square off this week in a battle for local bragging rights. The teams meet Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Cincinnati before finishing the series Wednesday at 6 p.m. at McKie Field.

The RedHawks (27-20) have won nine of their last 11 games, including a 3-2 decision over 28th-ranked Kent State on Sunday.

Kyle Weldon holds the team lead in batting (.317) and in home runs with eight, while standing second with 35 runs batted in. Freshman Marcus Makuch stands second in average at .310, while Bryce Redeker hits at a .305 clip while adding a team-best 39 RBIs.

As a team, Miami is hitting .270 with 25 home runs.

On the mound, the RedHawks have a 3.15 team ERA. The three weekend starters have combined for 15 of Miami's wins and a 3.07 ERA. Meanwhile, the bullpen continues to shine, holding a 10-6 record and 2.68 ERA. It also has 12 saves.

Miami will start freshman Seth Varner on Tuesday and redshirt junior Ryan Meyers on Wednesday.

Varner is 1-1 with a 4.23 ERA. He has been solid in his initial collegiate campaign, allowing three earned runs or less in each of his nine outings. Varner has made three previous starts with his last appearance coming in the completion of the suspended game at Akron. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, but did not get a decision. For the season he has struck out 10, while walking three.

Meyers is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA. He has allowed six hits and one earned run in 9.2 innings pitched, striking out four. His five appearances include on start at Ohio State on April 6.

Cincinnati (25-21) has lost four of their last five games, including a pair to West Virginia over the weekend.

The Bearcats will send sophomore lefty Thomas Gentile to the mound on Tuesday. They are undecided on Wednesday's starter.