RedHawk baseball had a successful showing in the Campbell Invitational last weekend, winning three of its four games in Buies Creek, NC. After dropping the weekend opener to Western Michigan on Friday, Miami (5-3) bounced back to win its next three, sweeping a Saturday double-header against Yale, and then defeating Campbell on Sunday.
Friday’s game against Western Michigan began as a pitchers’ duel with neither team scoring until the bottom of the seventh inning. The Broncos struck first on a sacrifice fly.
MU answered in the top of the eighth, scoring first on a sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Cal Elvers and then an RBI single by pinch-hitting sophomore Grant Hartwig to make it 2-1.
The ‘Hawks held the lead until Western Michigan led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo dinger to send the game to extras — Miami’s first free baseball of the season.
After the Broncos held the Red and White scoreless in the top half of the tenth, junior outfielder Nate Grys gave Western Michigan a 4-2 win with a two-run, walk-off homer.
Junior reliever Jack Corbell (L, 0-1) was credited with the loss after surrendering the two-run, tenth-inning shot.
On Saturday, junior catcher Hayden Senger blasted a solo home run to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead in the third inning of Miami’s first game against Yale.
A pair of RBI doubles gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage in the top of the fifth.
A half-inning later, an RBI groundout by Redshirt sophomore outfielder Kyle Winkler knotted the score at two.
The score would remain 2-2 for the next ten innings until Yale scored a run on a fielder’s choice, giving them a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixteenth.
But the RedHawks didn’t lie down. Elvers tied the game at three in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly. With a runner in scoring position, Senger stepped to the plate and ripped a single, scoring freshman pinch-runner Cristian Tejada to seal a 4-3 MU win.
Senior Gus Graham (W, 1-0) earned the win after pitching six innings of one-run baseball in relief.
Saturday’s second game was scoreless until the top of the fifth when sophomore third baseman Jordan Stephens drove in a run with an RBI single to give MU a 1-0 edge.
Yale didn’t wait long to respond, tying the game in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single of its own.
Redshirt senior first baseman Ross Haffey scored on a wild pitch to put the RedHawks back up 2-1 during the top half of the sixth.
The ‘Hawks would slam the door on the Bulldogs over the next two innings to win 2-1 in seven. The game was called after seven innings because game one’s sixteen-inning marathon ran longer than expected.
Sunday’s weekend finale against invitational host Campbell University featured fireworks early, as the score read 3-2 MU after just one inning.
The offenses calmed down for a couple frames before Winkler tacked on two more RedHawk runs with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
A Senger RBI double boosted Miami’s advantage to 6-2 in the top of the seventh.
Campbell fired back in the bottom of the eighth, plating four runs to knot the game at six.
Neither team scored in the ninth, sending Miami to its third extra-innings contest of the weekend.
The Red and White regained the lead in the top of the eleventh on a Haffey double. Senger added a much-needed cushion when he drove in Haffey with a sacrifice fly.
Junior reliever Andy Almquist threw a scoreless bottom half of the eleventh to earn his second save of the season and secure an 8-6 win for Miami. Junior pitcher Cole Gnetz (W, 1-0) got the win after tossing two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Miami opens its home schedule against Rider this Friday, March 2 at 5 p.m. on McKie Field at Hayden Park.