Miami Succumbs to Ninth-Inning Kent Rally
May 16, 2009
KENT, Ohio -- Heavy rains, two delays totaling 104 minutes, and a Kent State ninth-inning rally made the final game of the regular season a painful one as Miami fell in walk-off fashion to Kent State by a score of 12-11.
The Golden Flashes (38-15; 17-9 Mid-American Conference) roughed up three RedHawk pitchers for seven runs on eight hits in the final frame for the come-from-behind win over the RedHawks.
Miami (28-23; 15-12) took an early lead in the first when senior left fielder Chris Nadeau's (Saline, Mich.) team-leading 19th double scored senior third baseman Jordan Petraitis (Canal Fulton, Ohio). Nadeau came around to score later in the inning on an RBI groundout by sophomore catcher Adam Weisenburger (Plymouth, Minn.) to push to RedHawk lead to 2-0 after a half inning.
Freshman starting pitcher Lance Kingrey (Hilliard, Ohio) fought valiantly through several jams in the first three innings, allowing just one unearned run on three hits while striking out three Golden Flashes. The one run came in the bottom of the third, when a catcher's interference call and a wild pitch allowed Kent State's Brad Winter to cross the plate and cut the Miami lead to 2-1.
The RedHawks struck back immediately when senior first baseman Tommy Nurre (Cincinnati, Ohio) led off the fourth with a no-doubt home run - his team-leading 13th of the season - to left center to extend the lead to 3-1. The very next batter, Weisenburger, took the 1-0 pitch deep to right center for his third home run of the year as the RedHawks went back-to-back for just the second time all season.
Inclement weather struck Kent, Ohio in the fourth inning, leading to a 64 minute delay in play with Miami ahead 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kent State was able to push across one run on an RBI groundout that cut the RedHawk lead to 4-2.
Nurre struck again in the top of the fifth by blasting his second home run in as many innings, this time a two-run shot that plated Nadeau and gave the RedHawks a 6-2 lead. Both home runs by Nurre were hit with two strikes in the count.
Kent State would get one run back immediately in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Winter that cut the lead to 6-3.
Sophomore shortstop Brad Gschwind (Cincinnati, Ohio) would utilize an infield single to leadoff the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. It would also be the 25th time in 26 games that Gschwind had reached with a hit, but a rally never developed.
For the second straight inning, Kent State would lead off an inning with a solo home run as Jason Patton sent one over the scoreboard in right field to further chip away at the RedHawk lead and cut the score to 6-4 after six innings. A second rain delay cut play short in the top of the seventh inning. This delay would push the game back another 40 minutes.
Two more Miami runs would come across the plate in the top of the seventh as a Weisenburger single would deliver home his third and fourth RBI of the game and make it a four-run lead for Miami.
The RedHawks would not be done scoring, however, as freshman center fielder Ryan Curl (Columbus, Ohio) would launch a two-out, solo home run in the top of the eighth to extend Miami's lead to five. A fielding error by the Kent State second baseman and a sacrifice fly by sophomore designated hitter Kyle Weldon (Mason, Ohio) allowed two more runs to cross the plate in the top of the ninth inning, as Miami held an 11-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Freshman reliever Matt Rosinski (University Hts., Ohio) added two and one third innings of quality relief to help uphold the Miami lead through eight. Making his 31st appearance of the season, Rosinski recorded five of his seven outs via strikeout.
But he ran into trouble in the ninth. Kent State loaded the bases on three straight singles to lead off the inning. Jamaal Hollis came on in relief, but hit his first opponent, forcing in a run that made the score 11-6. It was the twelfth hit batter of the series for both teams. The next batter up singled through the left side to bring home two more Golden Flashes and make it a narrow 11-8 lead still with no outs.
Kent State would then tie the game up in the next at-bat, as Brad Winter launched his second home run of the game, a three-run shot over the left field fence that dashed the spirits of the RedHawks and made it a whole new ballgame.
Chase Stewart took the mound and recorded the first out, but gave up a single, double and intentional walk to load the bases. Kent State's Greg Rohan capped a rally with an RBI single that gave the Golden Flashes the series win.
Miami moves on to the Mid-American Conference Tournament as the number five seed. They will open tournament play Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. in Chillicothe, Ohio, once again facing Kent State.
Series Stars: 1. Chris Nadeau - 8-for-13, three doubles, six runs and four RBI 2. Tommy Nurre - 6-for-12, three home runs, a double, four RBI and four runs 3. Matt Erwood - 1 win, 6.0 innings pitched, two runs allowed, two strikeouts, 3.00 ERA