April 30, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami beat Bowling Green twice on Saturday afternoon, 7-4 and 2-1 to complete the weekend series sweep at McKie Field. Tyler Melling and Brooks Fiala were solid on the mound in their respective starts, while Sam Dawes completed the efforts with saves in both games.
The RedHawks (26-18, 13-5 MAC) won their seventh and eighth-straight games and put distance between themselves and the third-place Falcons (15-25, 8-10 MAC). Miami also kept pace with first-place Kent State, which swept three conference games over the weekend and is two games ahead of the RedHawks.
In the opener, Melling picked up his sixth win of the season, surrendering three runs on six hits and a walk over 7 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out five for his first win since March 26, a span of five outings.
Melling's only blemish through the first seven innings was a home run in the second to leadoff hitter Jeremy Shay. The RedHawks charged back and took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brad Gschwind opened the frame with a single to left and moved up on a bloop single by Kyle Weldon and a sacrifice bunt by Adam Weisenburger. Gschwind scored on Kevin Bower's groundout to the shortstop. Bryce Redeker followed Bower's RBI with the go-ahead 2-run shot over the left field fence.
The RedHawks added another run in the fifth after Ryan Kaup led off with a single to right. Jon Edgington and Ryan Brenner loaded the bases with back-to-back bunt singles before Gschwind hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Miami added three insurance runs in the sixth that proved to be the difference in the game when Bower walked to become the third consecutive leadoff hitter to reach base for the `Hawks. Redeker moved him to second with a single followed by a sacrifice bunt by Marcus Makuch to put both runners into scoring position. Kaup was intentionally walked before Edgington earned an RBI with a ground out to second, scoring Bower. Brenner added to the lead with a double up the middle, plating Redeker and Kaup and putting the Red and White out in front 7-1.
Melling got into trouble in the eighth, getting two outs, but allowing two base runners. Joe Neff relieved him and got the final out, but not before three Falcons crossed the plate to cut the Miami lead to 7-4. Dawes came in for the ninth and gave up a single to the leadoff hitter but settled down to strike out the side and earn his team-leading sixth save of the season.
Nick Bruns (3-3) was charged with the loss, giving up four earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two.
In the second half of the twin bill, Fiala (4-4) threw a gem, keeping the Falcons off the scoreboard through 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He topped Charles Wooten (2-6), who started and took the loss for the Bowling Green.
Miami jumped out early to a 1-0 lead with a run by Gschwind on a Weisenburger single to right. Gschwind put himself in scoring position with a double and advanced to third on a ground out to short by Weldon.
Miami tacked on a necessary insurance run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 2-0 lead. Makuch singled to left and was replaced by pinch runner Ryan Curl, who used his speed to move to third on a single by Kaup and score on a squeeze bunt by Edgington.
Matt Rosinski, who relieved Fiala in the seventh, finished that inning and recorded the first out of the eighth before surrendering a home run to Alex Davison that cut the lead to 2-1. Dawes entered in the eighth and struck out three batters in 1 and 2/3 innings of work in route to his second save of the afternoon and team-leading seventh of the year.
Miami next heads to Kent State for a pivotal series May 6-8.