The day before the start of their final exam week, the Miami RedHawks (36-14, 15-8 Mid-American) needed to rid themselves of some pent-up aggression.
They did just that with a 5-0 win over the Western Michigan Broncos (17-29, 10-12 MAC) at Hayden Park on Sunday.
Not only did the victory come on Mother’s Day and Senior Day, but it polished off Miami’s first series win since April 13 and clinched the RedHawks a spot in the MAC Tournament.
After a scoreless first inning, freshman designated hitter Cole Andrews put the first two runs on the board for Miami. After redshirt junior third baseman Jordan Stephens walked to lead off the bottom of the second, Andrews drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run dinger.
“It felt really good,” Andrews said. “I hit the one (home run) on Tuesday that I wasn’t too sure if it went out or not. So, to get one today that I pretty much knew was going out was pretty cool, especially on Senior Day.”
Andrews finished his day 3-for-4 at the plate, falling a double short of the cycle. He grounded out to the second baseman in his final plate appearance.
An inning later, junior shortstop Will Vogelgesang and redshirt freshman first baseman Reid Norberg each reached base, allowing the RedHawks to threaten for the second consecutive frame.
Junior second baseman Landon Stephens did the damage, homering in three runs to make it 5-0.
That ended Miami’s scoring output for the game.
Luckily, that’s all the run support senior starter Jack Corbell needed.
Corbell (W, 5-2) threw 100 pitches over eight shutout innings. He gave up four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out five.
“Honestly, everything felt really good,” Corbell said. “It was one of those things were it was, like, a huge pitching day. I just felt like I was trying to work the zone, and whenever I needed the gas, I had it. I just didn’t show it all the time. I had all my pitches. Even in the eighth, the changeup was on, the slider was on, so I felt really good.”
For the ninth inning, senior reliever Andy Almquist came on to replace Corbell. He retired the Broncos in order to close out the 5-0 win.
Afterward, Corbell said he wished head coach Danny Hayden would’ve let him attempt a complete game, but he understood his skipper’s idea to save his arm for next weekend – the final series of the regular season.
Corbell was one of seven seniors honored before the game. The others were Almquist, outfielder Mackay Williams and pitchers Cole Gnetz, Bailey Martin, Shane Smith and Alexx Zielinski.
“It’s bittersweet,” Corbell said. “I just wish I could pitch another game here, but that’s it. And if I had to pick a way to end it, this would be it.”
While Sunday was Miami’s last home game of the season, its schedule isn’t over yet.
The RedHawks will travel to MAC-leading Central Michigan on Friday to kick off a three-game set.
Following that, they’ll head to Avon, Ohio, for the conference tournament on Wednesday, May 22. They currently hold the third seed.