MU bullpen grounds Flyers
'Hawks win final tuneup before Rice
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2010 23:02
Before heading off to Houston to take on the defending national champion, the Miami baseball team (19-9) had to first get past its local rival Wednesday, the University of Dayton. Even though the starting pitching struggled for the RedHawks, the bats stayed hot and Miami took the game, 7-6, putting up seven or more runs for the third straight contest. "Any time you play a weekday game against a team that you are supposed to beat, you have just got to be aggressive and pull through," junior Paul Frietch said. "This was a big victory for us." After jumping out to an early 7-2 lead by the end of the fourth inning, the Red and White did not score again, relying on timely pitching and defense the rest of the way. Two walks and a single to open the fifth inning loaded the bases for the Flyers, prompting Miami head coach Tracy Smith to go his bullpen for the second time on the afternoon, bringing in sophomore Sam Shorts. After walking the first batter he faced, Shorts settled down, getting a double play followed by a strike out. With no men out again in the seventh, Dayton again loaded the bases, but just as in the fifth would only plate two runners, cutting the Miami lead to 7-6. "It's been funny. For almost a week straight everybody has been talking about Rice, Rice, Rice - so our feeling was that our guys were going to be looking past this game," Smith said. "Dayton is a good enough team where they can lay it on you if you aren't ready to play." The RedHawk bullpen held UD hitless the rest of the way, capped off in the ninth inning by a commanding performance by senior closer Chad Reineke, who topped out on the radar gun at 94 mph twice in earning the save. "(Chad) had an excellent finish to the game at Marshall on Sunday, and we hoped that he was going to roll with that," Smith said. "He is our closer now, and he is going to get the ball in those situations - match up and let it rip." The seven Miami runs came in the second, third and fourth innings, with each of the first seven batters in the lineup scoring. Junior Sam Sellery and sophomore Geoff Orr led the Red and White with two RBI apiece. Sellery finished the game going 2-4, improving his batting average to .419. "I think as the season goes on, people are starting to get in their grooves and know what pitch selection they like," Frietch said. With the win the 'Hawks improved its record to 5-0 against local teams, with just two left to be played - both against Wright State University. Miami now turns its attention to the upcoming series against the No. 4-ranked Rice University, winners of last year's NCAA championship. "I think the guys will be excited once they get there," Smith said. "Truthfully, I think these guys see it as another good baseball team and another series on the road. I don't think we are too jacked. Our intentions are to go down there and win." The three-game series begins tonight at 8, with a single game on both Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. All three games will be broadcast on the Miami Sports Network Internet channel located at www.miamisportsnetwork.com, while the first and last games of the series can be heard on 1450 AM The Ticket.