The Miami University baseball team remains one game below .500 (19-20) after splitting a two-game series with the Dayton Flyers.
The RedHawks had to fight their way back into Tuesday’s game, which took place at Time Warner Field in Dayton, Ohio. After going down 3-0 early in the contest, Miami added two in the sixth and another two in the eighth to move ahead 4-3. They couldn’t hang on, however, as the Flyers notched a double and a walk early in the inning, which set up the walk off double by redshirt freshman infielder Kevin Colburn to win the game, 5-4. Sophomore closer Ryan Powers, who totaled three saves in his past three relief efforts, took the loss.
“We lost a tough game,” Head Coach Dan Simonds said. “We didn’t swing the bats all that well, but we battled back and took … a one-run lead in the ninth, and they executed. That’s baseball, that’s going to happen.”
Fortunes improved for the RedHawks Wednesday, as eight of the nine Miami batters recorded hits, six of which garnered two or more. Senior first baseman Kevin Bower led the Red and White, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs. The senior’s final hit was a three-run shot down the right field line, his second home run of the season and one that looked like it was never coming down.
“I’ve struggled the past couple games, so it was good to get a couple hits,” Bower, who is batting .311 this season, said. “[As a team], we improved our approach, hit it well, and it was good to get a win before we head to Northern Illinois.”
Miami’s pitching was on task Wednesday, as sophomore pitcher Nate Williams fanned 10 Flyers in the win, improving his record to 4-2 in the process. After allowing the first three batters on base by way of two walks and a single, Williams settled down and retired 20 of his next 21 opponents until giving up a solo home run in the top of the seventh. He finished with just three hits and three runs allowed, while senior Cory Klenke and freshman Shane Kriss provided relief from the bullpen.
When the dust settled, Miami walked away victorious, 13-5. Williams remarked that despite his early-game struggles, his team came out with a vengeance after being walked-off the night before. The California native went on to earn a career-high 10 strikeouts.
“It’s hard to count out there,” Williams said. “You don’t even really think about it that much. I was just trying to throw strikes, let my defense work, and good things happened.”
Freshman right fielder Jake Romano had the play of the day; a diving-catch that garnered national attention. The play was No. 4 in Sport Center’s Top Ten plays Thursday.
Miami returns to Mid-American Conference (MAC) action Friday against Northern Illinois University. The Huskies are tied for first in the MAC with an 11-4 in-conference record and will provide a test for the RedHawks as they approach the final stretch of the season. The first game begins 4 p.m. Friday, and the first pitch will be thrown 2 p.m. at Saturday and Sunday’s games.
By Alyssa Zediker For The Miami Student
The Miami University softball team is set to face two Mid-American Conference (MAC) teams this weekend. The ‘Hawks will play Eastern Michigan University Friday and Central Michigan University Saturday and Sunday.
“Definitely looking forward to this weekend, beating Central Michigan will be key wins for us and Eastern is also a team we need to beat,” sophomore centerfielder Tiyona Marshall said. “Obviously [these wins] will give us a good seed in the MAC tournament that is coming up soon.”
The RedHawks are 10-4 in the MAC, 17-24 overall, whereas the Eastern Michigan Eagles are 2-12 in the MAC and 12-29-1 overall. The Central Michigan Chippewas sit in second place in the MAC West with an 11-3 conference record and 25-14 record overall. Miami is in first in the MAC East.
“[The game] is not about Eastern or about Central, it’s really about are we improving as a team, from a pitching, defensive and hitting stand point,” Head Coach Clarisa Crowell said. “The biggest thing right now is that it is not a matter of reinventing the wheel, but continuing to get better.”
Marshall said she feels prepared for the weekend and is excited and ready to go out and play.
“Personally I just want to continue to put the ball in play, and make the other team make a play,” Marshall said. “I feel I have been doing a pretty good job of that lately, just moving the runners and getting on base.”
Crowell said while on paper the Eagles may not be the best team, the numbers have little effect on whether a team shows up to a game ready to play.
“Eastern may be last in their division, but that doesn’t matter, for us it is about just going out there and playing at our level,” Crowell said.
From past experiences with Eastern Michigan, Marshall said a couple of their players hit the ball well and feels Miami’s pitchers should look out for them.
The RedHawks also face Central Michigan following the Friday doubleheader against Eastern, but the team is taking each game one at a time, so they have not been focusing their efforts on the games further into the weekend.
Last season Miami faced Central Michigan in the MAC Championship, and Marshall said they were a scrappy team, but for her having the experience with a team like Central Michigan helps eliminates the nerves because they know how the other team is going to play.
“Every game we play from here on out in conference, all of them are equally as important, we can’t take any team lightly and each game is of high significance,” Crowell said. “We have to get as many wins as we can.”