Baseball Sweeps Furman in Saturday Doubleheader
Feb. 18, 2012
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Miami rebounded from an opening-day loss Friday with strong play Saturday, sweeping Furman 8-2 and 12-11 at Latham Stadium. Brooks Fiala struck out a career-high nine batters in game one while Kevin Bower registered six hits and four runs batted in over the two games. Scott Slappey added five hits and his first career home run.
In the opener, Miami (2-1) took advantage of its speed on the basepaths to gain its first lead of the season in the fourth. With two outs, Ryan Curl reached first on a bunt single. Ryan Brenner hit the pitch into left center, and took second when a unsuccessful play was made at third. Nate Bowles followed with a single through the left side, plating both runners.
The RedHawks capitalized on two Furman mistakes to add three insurance runs in the eighth. A Bryce Redeker double and infield singles by Bower and Alex Johnson loaded the bases. Two outs later, a wild pitch advanced everyone 90 feet, making the score 3-0, then two more runs scored on a throwing error by the shortstop.
Furman tried to rally in the bottom of the frame. The Paladins put runners on second and third with one out, getting on the board with an RBI-ground out to second. Redshirt freshman Nathan Williams entered in relief and gave up a double down the left field line before registering the third out.
Fiala was stellar in his first start of the season, striking out a career-high nine, while scattering five hits. He did not walk a batter and allowed just two runs.
Miami added three more runs in the ninth with Dan Walsh getting an RBI single and Slappey driving in a pair on a single.
In the nightcap, Furman jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a run in the first and two in the second. The RedHawks answered, though, with five in the third. Matt Honchel delivered a bases-loaded single to plate two and Johnson had a two-run double. In betw een, Bower walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run.
But the Paladins tied the game in their half of the third on their second two-run home run of the game, starting an exchange of leads over the next two innings. The RedHawks retook the lead in the fourth when Slappey led off the inning with his first career home run. Four hits led to two runs and a 7-6 Furman lead in the bottom of the frame, but Miami went ahead for good in the top of the fifth. Redeker led off with a walk and stole second. He came home when Bower doubled to left center. One out later, Walsh singled in Bower.
The RedHawks added two runs in the sixth to open a 10-7 lead. With one out, Brenner struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch and advanced to third when the catcher threw the ball away on the play. Honchel singled in the first runs, then later scored on a sacrifice fly by Redeker. Three straight singles to start the Paladin sixth setup a rally, but Matt Rosinski, the RedHawks' third pitcher induced a double play and lineout to limit the damage to a single run.
Bower doubled in a run and Johnson singled in another in the eighth for a 12-8 advantage before Furman tried to rally a final time. The Paladins scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth before a sliding catch by Curl in foul territory ended the contest.
The game was sloppy, with Miami committing six errors and Furman four. Three of the RedHawk miscues were by Curl in right field, with Slappey adding a pair. All but one of the RedHawk runs were earned, while four of Furman's 11 were unearned.
Brandon Adkins (1-0) picked up the win for Miami, allowing a run in 1.1 innings pitched. Rosinski threw the final four innings, allowing just two hits and a walk to the 18 batters he faced to earn the save. All three of the runs he allowed were unearned.
Miami returns to Greenville next weekend for the First Pitch Invitation, hosted by the Greenville Drive Single-A Baseball Club. The RedHawks will face Michigan State on Friday and Sunday with a rematch against the Paladins on Saturday.