Video: Derek Stamberger
Wendy’s wasn’t the only place serving up 4-for-4’s as the Miami RedHawks (11-3) swept the Youngstown State University Penguins (0-13) in a four-game set.
The two teams were supposed to play the opener on Friday, a doubleheader Saturday and the finale on Sunday, but weather forced a suspension of Saturday’s second game to Sunday morning, with a doubleheader following the consummation.
Miami took Game One 6-3 on the back of freshman starter Sam Bachman, who improved to 3-0 on the season. Saturday’s game went to the bottom of the eighth before thunderstorms forced the final inning to be played before a doubleheader on Sunday.
The final inning took 11 minutes and concluded with a 5-2 RedHawk victory. The offensive firepower came out the next two games as Miami handled YSU 9-1 and 11-1.
The offense is clicking
The RedHawks have scored five or more runs in each of the last 11 games.
Senior outfielder Mackay Williams finished the weekend with a .538 batting average (7-for-13) a home run, two triples and five RBIs. This bolsters his average to .342 on the season, trailing only sophomore utility Cristian Tejada (.368) and freshman catcher Cole Andrews (.390).
Junior third baseman Landon Stephens also contributed to the barrage of the Penguins, going 6-for-16 (.375). His inconsistent start to the season was proven a fluke, as expected. He reached the bases on balls three times, scoring four times throughout the weekend.
Junior shortstop Will Vogelgesang added four hits (.400), four walks and four steals, scoring seven of the 10 times he reached base.
“Offensively, it was pretty consistent this weekend, and I’d say that’s the first time we’ve done that in a four game stretch, where we’ve been that good offensively,” Hayden said. “If you do that over the course of four games, you’re going to win a ton of baseball games.”
The bullpen can deal
While the starters have been superb — with all sitting above at least two games above .500 — the relievers have been incredible.
“The competition in our pitching staff right now is very high, and those guys are all eager to get out and show us they should keep getting the ball,” Hayden said. “They did an awesome job of it this weekend, every guy came in, throwing strikes, getting outs, made big pitches and that’s really good to see from those guys.”
Freshman Tyler Bosma threw three perfect innings to round out the victory on Friday, striking out four Penguins. On the season, Bosma holds a 3.00 ERA in four appearances, with three saves. He leads the team with 21 strikeouts and has surrendered only four runs.
Senior Shane Smith went three no-hit innings with five strikeouts and two walks before the weather suspension.
A pair of left-handed pitchers Jon Meyerring and Nick Urbantke each put in two innings of hitless baseball on Sunday. Both struck out two batters. Meyerring has yet to give up a hit, while Urbantke has held his opponents to a .095 batting average. Neither has given up an earned run.
New additions contributing early
Junior transfer first baseman Charlie Harrigan, freshman catcher Nate Stolze and Andrews have been key factors in the offensive success.
Harrigan, coming from Heartland Community College, leads the team in RBIs (15) and extra-base hits (8). He added five hits and reached the bases on balls three times for a .400 on base percentage for the weekend.
Andrews batted .300 on the weekend, but still leads the team with a .390 batting average in his 12 games this season. He’s primarily been holding down the designated hitter position, and rightly so, with his team leading two home runs. He also ranks second on the roster with a .561 slugging percentage.
The RedHawks return to the diamond Wednesday at Northern Kentucky before coming home to McKie Field on Friday for a three-game set versus the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
“I think we can win a lot of baseball games this year, but that doesn’t mean we are a really good team yet,” Hayden said. “As good as our focus and consistency was, I think there are some gaps were it can get better and that’s controllable for us and we’ll keep working on it.”