Games 7-9 at Davidson Wildcats
Friday, Feb. 28 • 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 • 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 2 • 2:00 p.m.
Wilson Field • Davidson, N.C.
Miami travels to North Carolina for a three-game series at Davidson. Friday’s series opener begins at 6 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday’s tilts both start at 2 p.m.
AROUND THE HORN
• Miami belted four home runs in its three-game stay at the Mule Mix Classic, bringing it a quarter of the way to its 2013 total of 16 in 56 games.
• Sophomore outfielder Jake Romano has a four-game hitting streak, posting a slash line of .529/.600/.706 during that span.
• After recording six extra base hits in 34 games last season, Romano has three doubles in Miami’s first six games.
• Miami’s fielding was much sharper with a series under its belt. After committing 13 errors in their three-game set at Arkansas State Feb. 15-16, MU made only one miscue in three games last weekend.
• The Red and White pitching staff found its swing and miss stuff last weekend, compiling 28 strikeouts in 25.2 innings of work. That was a large leap from its 13 strikeouts in 24 innings on opening weekend.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Seth Varner (Sr., LHP), 0-1, 4.09 ERA, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 14 K
Danny Mooney (Sr., RHP), 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Nathan Williams (Jr., RHP), 0-1, 7.04 ERA, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 5 K
Ryan Lowe (Jr., RHP), 0-0, 2.57 ERA, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
Ryan Powers (Jr., RHP), 1-1, 6.52 ERA, 9.2 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 7 K
Nick Neitzel (Jr., RHP), 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
ABOUT DAVIDSON: The Wildcats are off to a 2-3 start on the season. As a team Davidson is averaging 5.0 runs per game and holding opponents to a .217 batting average. The Wildcats have a collective 2.51 ERA, though their 10 errors have led to eight unearned runs as well. Lee Miller has begun the season 7-for-14 and infielder/pitcher Ryan Lowe has a .591 on-base percentage to go with a 2.57 ERA. Davidson dropped a tight 7-5 decision to No. 6 NC State on Tuesday.
SERIES HISTORY: Miami is 0-2 all-time against Davidson with their only meetings coming in 1996. The Wildcats swept a doubleheader by scores of 10-8 and 6-5 in Davidson, N.C.
LAST WEEK: Miami began the Mule Mix Classic with tough one-run losses at Belmont (9-8) and Middle Tennessee (4-3) before topping Lipscomb 9-3. On Friday, MU erased an 8-4 seventh inning deficit to tie Belmont 8-8 in the ninth before the Bruins won on a walk-off balk in the bottom of the frame. The next day, Miami’s early 3-0 lead over Middle Tennessee didn’t hold and the Blue Raiders took the lead for good on an RBI single in the seventh. On Sunday, the RedHawks scored in all but two innings and Ryan Powers allowed only two runs in six innings against the Bisons in head coach Danny Hayden’s first win with Miami.
RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Sophomore outfielder Jake Romano is off to a torrid start to the season. After going 0-for-7, Romano is 9-for-17 over his current four-game hitting streak, posting multiple hits in each game. The 2013 MAC Freshman of the Year is a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts after finishing his freshman campaign 8-for-12 on the basepaths. Romano is also showing some more pop in his bat thus far, drilling three doubles in already to match last year’s 34-game total.
THE WHIFF: Senior lefty Seth Varner has turned in a pair of encouraging starts over the first two weeks of the season. After holding Arkansas State to three runs (two earned) in six innings on opening day, the senior struck out a career-best 11 Belmont batters while handing a 4-3 lead over to the bullpen after five innings of work last Friday. After posting a 5.13 ERA a year ago, Varner has a 4.09 mark in his first two starts this year.
LIKE RIDING A BIKE: It happened infrequently last season, but it appears senior John Crummy is still comfortable catching games. Crummy has started four of Miami’s six games, batting .412 with a double and a walk. Last year, Crummy batted .317 in 180 at-bats, though he only caught twice. He did, however, log 27 games behind the plate in 2012 while batting .305.
WALSH LIFTS OFF: Senior infielder Dan Walsh is off to a torrid start to the season in his own right, batting .391 with a homer and a triple. His .423 on-base percentage and .609 slugging percentage each rank second on the RedHawks. He has hit safely in five of six games with three multi-hit outings.
POWERS BY NAME: Miami junior Ryan Powers had a far better second turn through the rotation than his season debut. After failing to escape the fourth inning at Arkansas State on Feb. 16, Powers tossed six sharp inning at Lipscomb on Feb. 23. He struck out five batters and allowed only two earned runs in his first quality start of the season.
HITTING DISPLAY: Miami head coach Danny Hayden had high expectations for sophomore Gary Russo’s bat and the early signs are encouraging. After finishing with one hit on opening weekend, Russo hit .364 with a double, a home run and four RBI during last weekend’s Mule Mix Classic. In five starts, the MU designated hitter has a solid .263/.364/.526 line. Three of Russo’s five hits have gone for extra bases.