May 25, 2011
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- Mac Thoreson allowed only four hits in a complete-game effort and Kevin Bower connected for his second home run of the season, lifting No. 3 Miami to a 3-1 victory over sixth-seeded Toledo in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Baseball Championship Wednesday.
The RedHawks improve to 33-24 on the year, equalling their most victories since 2005, and now face Western Michigan Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The Broncos defeated Central Michigan 9-7 Wednesday..
Thoreson (6-3) threw just 101 pitches, striking out six batters. He hit two batters, but did not allow a walk. He retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced, then, after allowing a run in the fifth, set down 13 of the last 17.
Toledo (26-28) scored the first run of the game in the fifth, starting the frame with a double and single to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly ruined the shutout.
But Miami answered in the bottom of the inning. Bower walked and was sacrificed to second by Ryan Kaup came up and hit a bounced to third, but Joe Corfman sailed the throw over first and out of play, tying the game.
The RedHawks manufactured a run in the sixth for their first lead. Brad Gschwind led off with a double just over third base. He took third on a deep fly to right by Adam Weisenburger and came home on an RBI groundout by Kyle Weldon.
Bower provided insurance with a leadoff homer in the seventh, his second of the season. He thought he had earned a walk, but the 3-0 pitch was called a strike and her returned to the plate. The Indianapolis native hit the next pitch over the wall in left center.
The Rockets mounted a final threat in the eighth, putting runners on first and second with an out. But Thoreson induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame. All three outs in the ninth were groundouts, fittingly covering first himself to end the game.
The win snapped a six-game losing steak against Toledo, including a 7-1 Rocket victory in the first round of the MAC Tournament last year.
Stay tuned to MURedHawks.com for more tournament information, including a live blog of Thursday night's game,