Miami baseball kicked off its season with a 2-2 series split at Arizona State this weekend. After travel complications pushed Friday night’s game to Saturday, the RedHawks played back-to-back doubleheaders and won the first and last games of the series 4-2 and 16-8, respectively.
This season is the first time Miami has won two of its first four games since 2012.
Miami struck first in game one Saturday, when a one-out double by junior catcher Hayden Senger drove in sophomore outfielder Cal Elvers to give MU a 1-0 second-inning lead.
The Red and White tacked on two more on an RBI single by designated hitter Grant Hartwig in the top of the fifth.
Arizona State finally cracked the scoreboard on a throwing error in the bottom of the fifth. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Sun Devils inched closer on a sacrifice fly.
The ‘Hawks responded in the top of the eighth when junior outfielder Dallas Hall doubled in a run to push the score to 4-2.
It would stay that way as Miami junior pitcher Jack Corbell pitched a scoreless final 1.1 innings and slammed the door on Arizona State.
Junior starter Nick Ernst (W, 1-0) was stellar in his 2018 debut, allowing only one run on four hits in six innings of work. He tallied six strikeouts to secure the victory.
The victory marked the first time Miami has won its season-opener since 2007.
The Sun Devils jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second game, but the RedHawks fired back — first on a Hall RBI single, and then a two-run home run by Redshirt senior first baseman Ross Haffey (1) to make it 3-1.
Arizona State knotted it at 3-3 with back-to-back solo blasts in the bottom of the fourth. Two innings later, ASU took a 6-3 lead after an MU throwing error plated two and a suicide squeeze scored another.
The Sun Devils added one more on a seventh-inning RBI single and won 7-3 to split Saturday’s double-header.
MU junior pitcher Zach Spears (L, 0-1) recorded the loss after surrendering four runs on eight hits in five innings.
Arizona State carried its momentum into Sunday morning when they run ruled the RedHawks 11-1 after seven innings.
ASU drove in two runs in the first and never trailed in the contest. It reached the run rule by plating five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Miami scored its lone run on a Hall sacrifice fly in the third inning.
Junior starter Bailey Martin (L, 0-1) struggled with command, walking four batters and giving up four runs in just 3.1 innings.
The Sun Devils kept rolling to start the series finale, scoring on an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Struggling and in need of momentum, MU caught a break, scoring two on a Sun Devil throwing error in the top of the second to steal back the lead. This started a RedHawk rally that plated eight runs. The inning was capped off with a grand slam by sophomore third baseman Landon Stephens (1).
Both teams scored one run each in their halves of the third before the offenses calmed down. They played scoreless baseball until three MU wild pitches gifted the Sun Devils three runs to make it 9-6 in the sixth.
The ‘Hawks responded when Redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kyle Winkler ripped a two-run single into left field, giving them some much need breathing room.
They held on for a 16-8 win and a series split in Tempe.
Junior reliever Andy Almquist (W, 1-0) got the win after pitching two innings of one-run baseball out of the ‘pen.
ASU leads the all-time series between the schools 4-2. It had won the only two previous meetings before this series.
The RedHawks will travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to participate in the Campbell Invitational Tournament this weekend. They’ll take on Western Michigan in their tournament opener Friday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.