The Miami baseball RedHawks (8-3) brought their brooms to Hayden Park last weekend as they swept Rider University (4-7) in their first home series of the season.
MU’s starting pitchers Spencer Mraz, Zach Spears and Bailey Martin combined for 18 shutout innings and held opposing hitters to a minuscule .120 batting average over the course of the series.
The ‘Hawks struck early Friday night, scoring one run in the first inning when Redshirt sophomore left fielder Kyle Winkler crossed home plate after Redshirt senior first baseman Ross Haffey grounded into a double play.
Freshman right fielder Parker Massman drove in another Miami run with an RBI single in the bottom of the second.
That’s all the run support sophomore starter Mraz (W, 1-0) needed. He blanked the Broncs over six innings of work and picked up his first win of the new campaign.
Miami added a third run in the sixth inning when sophomore second baseman Will Vogelgesang scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the seventh, Haffey crushed a two-run home run — his second dinger of the season — to extend the RedHawk’s lead to 5-0.
Rider scored its lone run in the top of the eighth on an RBI single.
The Red and White picked up a 5-1 victory in their first home game.
The weekend’s second game was a pitchers’ duel until late, with neither team scoring until the ninth inning.
MU junior pitcher Spears hurled six innings of two-hit, six-strikeout shutout baseball, but didn’t receive any run support.
The Broncs singled in a run in the top of the ninth inning to take a late 1-0 lead.
With the RedHawks down to their last out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, junior catch Hayden Senger smacked a ball into the right-center field gap that plated two runners and gave Miami a dramatic 2-1 walk-off win.
“Any time you get to run around on the field at the last play of the game, it’s always fun,” Miami head coach Danny Hayden said. “I’m happy for Senger having a big night, but our pitchers did an awesome job keeping us in a baseball game today.”
Starting pitching reigned supreme once again in the series finale, as both teams were held scoreless until the fourth inning.
The RedHawks finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs to take a 5-0 lead.
Miami added one more run for good measure on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Carlos Texidor in the bottom of the eighth.
Junior reliever Jack Corbell wrapped up a 6-0 MU victory with a scoreless top half of the ninth.
Junior starter Bailey Martin (W, 1-1) earned the win after pitching six innings of shutout baseball.
“I’ll take the result today,” Hayden said. “Those guys’ at-bats were good and the pitching, all weekend, was fantastic.”
After the sweep, Miami’s won six straight games.
The RedHawks will travel to Dayton tomorrow for their first mid-week action of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.