The Miami baseball team (7-21) looks to turn around a five-game losing streak at home on Friday against Eastern Michigan University (10-18).
The ‘Hawks’ most recent losses were against Cincinnati-area teams in the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. The losses came with scores of 8-6 and 9-4, respectively. The UC game was played at home and the XU contest took place away from Hayden Park.
EMU will play Miami in their second Mid-American Conference series. The Eagles will face the RedHawks on a three-game win streak. The trio of wins came against Butler University, Chicago State and Michigan State by scores of 4-0, 5-2 and 4-3, respectively.
According to MU sophomore pitcher Zach Spears, while the program’s record isn’t ideal at this point of the season, the team looks to this weekend as a catalyst.
“Coming into the series, I think it’s good [morale],” Spears said. “Every week, we go into it with a 0-0 attitude. It’s do or die for us — we want to make some moves in the MAC.”
Fellow ‘Hawks sophomore pitcher Tim Fox acknowledged the team’s struggles, but is ready to turn the page on the first 28 games.
“Of late, we’ve had some inconsistencies,” he said. “But overall, we’ve been looking to the future, and we will be ready for the next couple series’ coming up.”
Miami Redshirt senior infielder Adam Yacek is in agreement about moving on, and is stressing the need for the squad to stick to their own game when playing.
“No matter who you’re playing, as a team, you need to focus on what you need to do,” Yacek said.
Offensively, look for Eastern Michigan to be anchored by senior John Montgomery. The do-it-all man who can play either infielder or outfielder — but was seen most recently used as a designated hitter — is hitting .278 from the dish with 27 hits, 17 RBI’s, five doubles and three homeruns.
The RedHawks’ manager Danny Hayden will look to sophomore Dallas Hall to provide an impact at the plate during the three-game set. The outfielder has 21 hits — nine of which have been doubles, one has been of the homerun-variety, and he has added 11 RBI’s over the course of the season.
The Eagles might not impress on the stat sheet or in the win-loss column, but they do wreak havoc in other ways.
“They’re a good team. When they’re on, they like to steal bases. They are aggressive on the base paths,” Spears said.
With the conclusion of the game against Xavier on Wednesday, Miami’s campaign is at the halfway mark.
“The postseason is all about getting hot at the right time. We can turn it on in the second half [of the season],” Spears said. “It’s all about playing good baseball at the right time. We’re still trying to go and win the MAC.”
As MAC foes, the two teams have an extensive history. On what will be their 111th meeting, EMU leads the series 57-54, with the Red and White winning the previous two matchups.
First pitch for Miami’s third MAC set is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Friday.