Entering spring break with a 3-11 record and carrying the burden of a four-game losing streak, the baseball team amassed a record of 2-5 over the week-long respite from academic activities.
Over the seven-game span, Miami played each contest at home and faced out-of-conference foes: East Tennessee State University and Northern Kentucky University. The latter trio of games saw MU face their first Mid-American Conference opponent: Western Michigan University.
The RedHawks faced ETSU three times, NKU once, and ended the home stand by duking it out in a three-game series against WMU.
Of the ‘Hawks’ two victories, both came in the opening matchups of the three game sets against East Tennessee and Western Michigan. Each came by slim margins of 4-2 and 4-3, respectively. Over the course of the seven games, Miami was outscored by their opposition 39 runs to 12.
In the opening series against ETSU starting on Saturday March 18, the RedHawks scored five runs — four of which came in their triumphant first game at Hayden Park. The ‘Hawks entered the bottom of the sixth inning of the opener with the game tied 2-2 with the Red and White looking to end their four-game skid.
With one out in the inning, senior designated hitter Tyler Harris broke the deadlock with a single to left field, driving in a run to make the score 3-2. Miami would tack on another run in the bottom of the seventh to bring the score to 4-2. Seeing the victory through was a complete game effort from sophomore right-hander Shane Smith.
The ‘Hawks would go on to lose the remaining two contests, including a crushing 14-0 defeat in the finale.
Located just across the Ohio River, Northern Kentucky made the trip up to Oxford on Wednesday March 22, to duke it out in a winner-take-all one game series. It wasn’t the Red and White’s day as a three run ninth inning for the Norse proved to be the determinant of victory in the one game set.
To round up the spring break action, the RedHawks played host to their first MAC opponent, Western Michigan.
In a thrilling 10-inning affair on Friday March 24, senior second baseman Steve Sada secured MU’s second win over the break by a score of 4-3. And, as such, the Red and White began MAC play on the right foot.
Yet, it was a case of taking one step forward and two steps back, as the ‘Hawks were swept in a doubleheader the subsequent day at the hands of WMU. Each was a loss by four runs, 8-4 in the afternoon and 4-0 during the evening. This was the second time during the break that Miami fell victim to a doubleheader sweep.
As it stands, the RedHawks are 5-16 overall, and see themselves occupying third place in the MAC East Division with a 1-2 record.
When normal school-related activities recommence, Miami next visits Northern Kentucky to round out the home-and-home series.