By Daniel Taylor, For The Miami Student
The last few weeks for Miami University baseball have been filled with ups and downs. After winning back-to-back games against Eastern Michigan University over the weekend, the RedHawks suffered a 20-7 blowout loss to Ohio State University Tuesday.
Despite the loss, outfielder Matt Honchel was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Week. Over the course of a five-game week, Honchel batted .471. In MAC play, the senior hit .667, drove in nine runs, scored four runs, stole two bases and tallied three extra base hits.
MU (11-35, 9-12 MAC) allowed several big scoring innings for OSU, largely in part due to 14 walks and four hit batters from the pitching staff.
The bullpen is a concern for manager Danny Hayden because of the lack of depth.
“Our bullpen’s not terribly deep,” Hayden said. “When we get to that tournament, [senior right-hander] Ryan Powers isn’t going to be on the mound when we win that tournament. It’s going to be someone we haven’t counted on a ton this year.”
The game started slowly, with Ohio State (32-13, 12-6 Big Ten) jumping out to a 2-1 lead after two innings of play.
However, the third inning told a different story.
A leadoff single and a hit batter put two on with no outs. Senior outfielder Pat Porter sacrificed the runners to second and third base.
RedHawk starter junior Chris Ticherich allowed a single to score one run and put runners on the corners before hitting the next batter and walking a pair of runs in.
Manager Danny Hayden pulled Ticherich after only 2.1 innings of work, in which he allowed seven runs (six earned).
The third inning produced five Buckeye runs and put them ahead 7-1.
OSU kept scoring, but the Red and White countered with three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to make the score 12-7.
In the fourth, junior outfielder Jacob Wolf hit his second home run in as many days. This time it was a three-run bomb to left field.
Redshirt sophomore infielder Adam Yacek drove in his 22nd run of the season in the fifth. Senior catcher Max Andresen followed with his second long ball of the season.
The RedHawks were held to three hits and no runs for the rest of the game.
Ohio State added on eight more runs. Four of those came from sophomore outfielder Ronnie Dawson’s grand slam.
Dawson had a career night, going 4-6 with a double, grand slam and eight RBIs.
Buckeye freshman Jacob Niggemeyer picked up his fourth win of the season, despite it being his worst outing this year.
Ticherich tallied his third loss, falling to 0-3 in 2015.
The RedHawks are finished with non-conference play and return to the final six MAC games of 2015. Miami faces University of Toledo in a three-game series this weekend and follow it with another three-game series against Ohio University at home.
UT (20-28, 12-9 MAC) is fighting for one of the top four spots in the MAC tournament and look to improve their seeding in this weekend’s series.
The Bobcats (27-18, 12-9 MAC) are right behind Toledo because of the tiebreaker in head-to-head matchups, which Toledo holds 2-1.
First pitch against the Rockets is 3:05 p.m. Friday in Toledo, Ohio.
“We’ve got to fight like crazy to make sure we’re prepared and locked in for the next two weekends,” Hayden said. “If we take care of business we’ll be there. If we don’t, we won’t.”