With a chance to make history, Miami baseball wasn’t able to break any records against Toledo, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad weekend.
This season’s RedHawks are still tied with their 1972 counterparts for the best start in program history at 24-6 (7-2 Mid-American). They won their seventh straight series by taking two out of three from the Rockets (10-17, 1-6 MAC) this weekend.
Miami claimed Friday’s game 10-6 and Saturday’s 3-2, before falling 7-5 in the series finale on Sunday. Today and tomorrow, the team will take a quick break from MAC play to participate in the 11th annual Joe Nuxhall Classic.
Outfielder Parker Massman gets it going
After hitting just under .260 during his freshman year, Massman started his sophomore campaign in an under-.200 slump. He came into the three-game set against the Rockets with a .193 average but broke out with a pair of strong performances. His batting average currently sits at .235.
Massman starred in the first two games of the weekend, tallying four hits and driving in four runs in eight at-bats. He entered the series with seven RBIs on the season and now has 11.
Massman’s two-run home run — his first dinger of the season — was the difference between a Miami win or loss on Saturday, as the RedHawks grinded out a 3-2 victory.
In his team’s lone defeat of the series, Massman went 0-for-3.
Cristian Tejada stays hot
Tejada has been a pleasant surprise for Miami head coach Danny Hayden’s ballclub this season. After a 2018 in which he started less than a third of Miami’s games, the sophomore outfielder leads the team in hitting with a .353 average and 11 extra-base hits this season. He’s grabbed control of centerfield, moving Massman to right field.
Even when he’s held hitless, like in Game One against the Rockets, Tejada manages to make an impact. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but he walked three times and scored two runs.
Tejada bounced back at the plate in Game Two and Three, going a combined 5-for-8 with two RBIs and another run scored.
Miami set to defend Nuxhall Classic crown
In what former Miami catcher Hayden Senger once called “probably the most important week of our season,” the RedHawks will take part in the Joe Nuxhall Classic at Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium today and tomorrow.
Since 2009, Miami has competed with Wright State, Cincinnati and Xavier for Southwestern Ohio baseball supremacy in the annual showcase. The RedHawks have claimed the last two Nuxhall Championships after enduring the first eight years of the tourney without a title.
Miami opens against Wright State at 3 p.m. today. Senior Bailey Martin is the probable MU starter. The RedHawks and the Raiders didn’t play in last season’s “Nuxy.”
Tomorrow, Miami will play either Xavier or Cincinnati at 3 or 6:30 p.m. The opponent and time both depend on which teams win the first-round matchups. With a victory over the Raiders, the RedHawks will advance to the tournament finals. With a loss, they’ll have to settle for the third-place game.