Tom Downey, Staff Writer

Junior pitcher Brooks Fiala rears back and fires against Morehead State University Mar.ch17. Fiala pitched a complete game Saturday against Eastern Michigan University but the ’Hawks fell 3-1 and lost the series 2-1. (Jessi Thorne | The Miami Student)

The Miami University baseball team won the first game of their three-game series against Eastern Michigan University but lost the final two, failing to win their opening Mid-American Conference (MAC) series.

“I think we played hard,” Head Coach Dan Simonds said. “I think we beat ourselves in a lot of ways. We have to play more solid fundamental baseball.”

The Red and White are now 13-11 on the year and are 1-2 in the MAC, which puts them in a tie for third in the MAC East. Kent State is the only other MAC team with a winning record at 11-10.

All three of the RedHawks’ pitchers had solid outings. Junior Mac Thoreson got the start in the opener and went 7.2 innings, picking up the 9-1 victory. He struck out three batters while giving up seven hits and one earned run, improving to 3-2 on the year.

In the second game junior Brooks Fiala pitched a complete game (8 innings), but the team lost 3-1. Fiala gave up eight hits and two earned runs while striking out five, dropping him to 2-3 on the year.

Senior Shawn Marquardt got the start in the finale pitching 6.2 innings and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. He struck out two in the 4-2 loss, dropping his record to 2-3 on the year.

“The pitching was tremendous,” Simonds said. “All three guys pitched great. They gave us a chance to win all three games.”

As the pattern has been for most of the year, the top of the order led the RedHawks offensively. Senior outfielder Ryan Brenner went 5-14 with four runs and one RBI from the leadoff spot and freshman Matt Honchel went 6-10 with one run and two walks while batting second in the order. Senior outfielder Bryce Redeker went 4-10 with three runs scored, two walks and four RBIs as the three hitter and junior first baseman Kevin Bower cleaned things up, going 5-12 with one run and three RBIs from the number four slot.

The RedHawks opened the series with offensive firepower, taylling 15 hits and nine runs in the first game. They jumped out to an early lead, going up 7-0 before the Eagles scored their first and only run. The Red and White scored two runs in the first, three in the third and two in both the fourth and fifth.

Despite Fiala’s strong performance in the second game, the RedHawks were unable to pull out the win, falling 3-1. The RedHawks out-hit the Eagles 10-8 but left nine men on base.

The rubber match was plagued by mistakes as the RedHawks committed three errors and balked in a run as well. The mistakes turned out to be a major factor in the 4-2 loss.

The RedHawks return to Oxford for a three-game series against the University of Toledo, starting with a 6 p.m. Friday first-pitch.