The Miami baseball team (13-7, 2-1 MAC) kicked off conference play with a series win at Eastern Michigan (6-15, 1-2 MAC) this weekend. The RedHawks took the first two games before dropping the series finale.
The series marked the first time the ‘Hawks won their opening MAC series since 2015.
Continuing Miami’s recent trend of dramatic endings, Friday’s series opener wasn’t lacking flair as the RedHawks tied the game in the ninth inning before winning 4-3 in the 11th.
The Eagles threatened early, scoring one run after loading the bases with only one out in the bottom of the third.
Miami’s sophomore starter, Spencer Mraz, struggled with his command and lasted just 1.1 innings. He faced eight batters and allowed four of them to reach base (one hit, three walks).
Senior shortstop Adrian Carlos Texidor knotted the game at one with an RBI single in the top of the third.
Eastern Michigan retook the lead two innings later, when a two-run single made it 3-1.
The score remained 3-1 until the top of the ninth when Redshirt sophomore left fielder Kyle Winkler ripped a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 11th, junior outfielder Dallas Hall scored on a sacrifice bunt to give Miami its first lead of the contest.
Junior reliever Andy Almquist pitched a scoreless bottom half of the eleventh to put a bow on a 4-3 Miami win.
Junior Shane Smith (W, 1-1) tossed two scoreless innings in relief to earn his first win of the season.
Game Two was scoreless through its first three innings before an RBI single by Redshirt senior first baseman Ross Haffey put Miami up 1-0 in the top of the fourth.
The RedHawks extended their lead an inning later on a two-run double by Winkler.
Eastern Michigan finally cracked the scoreboard on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth, making it 3-1.
Almquist came on in the ninth and slammed the door on the Eagles, earning his second save in as many days and securing a 3-1 MU victory and the MAC series win.
Junior Zach Spears (W, 2-2) earned the win after pitching seven shutout innings.
The Eagles struck first in the series finale, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Neither run was the result of a hit, with the scoring plays being a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively.
The Eagles tacked on two more runs an inning later to push their lead to four. The first run scored on an RBI double, while the second was the product of an RBI single.
That was all the scoring this game produced, as Eastern Michigan blanked the RedHawks and claimed a 4-0 shutout win to close the series.
Junior starter Bailey Martin (L, 1-3) was handed the loss, after allowing all four of the Eagles’ runs in his 3.2 innings of work.
Miami heads to Lexington Tuesday to take on the Kentucky Wildcats (17-7, 2-4 SEC). The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch and will be broadcast on ESPN3.