Winning eight of their last ten, including Tuesday’s 8-0 home victory over Morehead State, Miami’s baseball team (17-25) is back on the road. MU head coach Danny Hayden and co. will travel to Bowling Green State University (10-26), where they will do battle in a three-game series starting today.
Due to a schedule change, the first two contests will be of the doubleheader variety.
Coming off of a loss in their last contest — in addition to dropping two out of three in their recent series against Ohio University — the RedHawks bounced back. They throttled Morehead State 8-0 in front of 543 fans.
In their past two affairs — against MAC competition, no less — the Falcons were defeated 8-2 at home and 3-0 on the road against Central Michigan and Kent State, respectively. While they play in the same division, the KSU matchup was a non-conference, home-and-home affair.
The ‘Hawks are in fifth place in the East Division with a 3-9 conference record. Bowling Green holds third place in the East, boasting a 5-10 Mid-American Conference mark.
This matchup could shake-up the East. While the Red and White seek their first conference series victory, the Falcons are looking to win their second three-game set in MAC-play. Either way, the rankings of the East could look different once the final out is recorded Saturday afternoon.
BGSU doesn’t standout statistically, but they find solace offensively when the infield duo of Randy Righter and Greg Basalyga step up to the plate.
Junior Righter leads the team in hits with 39. He hits .293 with eight doubles, three home runs and 13 runs batted in. The senior righty, Basalyga, maintains a .303 batting average, while leading the team in doubles with nine, home runs with five and RBIs with 21.
This dual-threat for the Falcons pays dividends. But this isn’t to say that the RedHawks are inept when swinging away.
Of late, infielder Landon Stephens and outfielder Tyler Harris have been playing their part on offense — kick-starting Miami’s recent run of form. At the plate, MU has been firing on all cylinders. Over their past five games, they have averaged six runs per game.
In the case of Stephens and Harris specifically, production has been plentiful. The freshman-senior combo has effectively integrated for nine home runs, 46 RBIs, three triples, and 17 doubles.
Hitting could very well make or break this series. Yet, it’s perhaps not even the biggest factor to determining a winner this weekend.
Pitching between the two sides could be the scene of battle throughout the series. Both average earned run over 5.00 — as MU pitchers have posted a 5.25 E.R.A. and BGSU’s E.R.A. is hovering at 6.04. As the series wears on, the fate of the series might be in the hands of either pitchers.
Bowling Green will toss out the first pitch at 12:35 p.m., kicking off the doubleheader today. The series will end Saturday, with the finale beginning at 1:05 p.m.