The bases were juiced in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the Miami University RedHawks looked down the barrel at a two run deficit.
McKie Field at Hayden Park boasted a capacity crowd that came alive when it mattered, but the RedHawk rally fell flat as the Red and White swung and missed at a winning chance to the Xavier University Musketeers (13-25), falling 10-8 Wednesday.
Head Coach Dan Simonds’ RedHawks (17-20) looked poised to pounce on the Musketeers for a third time this season, holding leads of two runs three different times in the contest. The sour story for the Red and White was leaving a season high 17 runners on base, and that was no way to win a ball game, according to Simonds.
“With the atmosphere here, I wish we could have put out a little better, not necessarily effort but a little better result,” Simonds said. “Leaving 17 guys on base you aren’t going to win many baseball games that way. We’ve got to do better in those situations of being more aggressive but smart aggressive. That’s something we didn’t do really well tonight.”
One guy that didn’t leave many men on the bags was sophomore Ryan Brenner. Brenner saw his average rise from 0.176 to 0.214 in a single game. The centerfielder shined in the spotlight with a trio of hits and a trio of RBI. Junior Kyle Weldon mirrored Brenner’s bat with three hits as well.
“It’s one of those nights where I didn’t really hit anything solid but they were just falling for me,” Weldon said. “It’s like when your hot you’re hot and stuff just goes your way.”
Simonds gave some of the big bats a rest Wednesday, originally including Weldon.
“Going into a weekend at this point in the season, I wanted to give Wise (Adam Weisenburger) a night off behind the plate but I also wanted to give Nate Bowles a chance to get back and I thought he did a pretty good job,” Simonds said. “Kyle Weldon was more of just a matchup.”
The mix also included sending seven RedHawks from the nest to the hill.
“It was a tough loss,” Weldon said. “Our mission was to get work in. We got a lot of pitchers in there. We just need to get ready for Akron this weekend is what we were trying to do. It stinks we didn’t win but its not going to happen every night. We really appreciate the crowd and it helps us play well. That’s something that we like to see a lot.”
Weldon and the rest of the RedHawks hope to look up from the dugout and see another large turnout when they host the University of Akron Zips for a weekend series. First pitch of the Mid-American Conference duel will be tossed at 6 p.m. Friday.