OXFORD, Ohio – Saturday was a banner day for the Miami University baseball program as RedHawks past and present gathered to break ground on the Legacy Project at Hayden Park.
However, after a great ceremony that symbolized the step towards a promising future for MU baseball, the visiting Toledo Rockets topped the Red and White 13-5 at McKie Field.
That result evens the weekend series at one game apiece. MU drops to 19-23 overall this season, 9-8 in the Mid-American Conference.
After a scoreless first, Toledo started the second inning with consecutive doubles off the bats of Ryan Callahan and Tyler Baar to grab a 1-0 lead. The Rockets loaded the bases with one out when Nathan Williams induced a ground ball out of John Martillotta, but the RedHawks were only able to get one out with Baar scoring on the play. With the top of the order batting again, Deion Tansel hit an RBI single to left and Tyler Grogg followed with an RBI double to put the Rockets ahead 4-0. With the bases loaded again, Callahan doubled for the second time in the inning to bring all three runners home, making it a 7-0 ballgame.
Miami appeared to be on the comeback trail when Max Andresen led off the bottom of the second, but Sam Shutes held him there by inducing a shallow foul out, a strikeout and a fly out to retire the side.
Toledo added another run in the third when Jake Krupar homered over the right field wall to go up 8-0. After holding MU scoreless in the third, UT batted around for the second time in the top of the fourth. The Rockets plated five run on a sacrifice fly by Baar, a Krupar RBI single, a bases loaded wild pitch and a two-run double by Martillotta. That onslaught put the Red and White behind 13-0 after four innings.
The Redhawks were unable to get more than one base runner over the first seven innings. MU got on the board in the eighth on Adam Yacek’s pinch-hit RBI groundout. In the ninth, Miami put together a slight rally with four runs. Scott Slappey and Ryan Elble connected on back-to-back RBI singles to score Tommy Ricciardi and Ryan Miller. With the bases loaded, Yacek slipped a single through the left side of the infield to bring both Slappey and Elble around to cut the gap to 13-5, but the game was ended one batter later on a 4-6-3 double play ball.
Williams (3-6) was tagged with the loss after yielding eight runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings of work, walking two and striking out one. Elble (2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI) was the only Miami batter with multiple hits while Yacek chipped in three RBI off the bench.
Miami and Toledo battle for the series win on Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m. That game serves as Smokey Alston Day.