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Miami splits series with Muskies

By Tom Downey
On March 22, 2012

The Miami University baseball team split their home-and-home series with Xavier University (XU), with each team winning on their home field. XU won the first contest 8-3 but Miami took the series finale 6-3.

"It was good the way we bounced back," Head Coach Dan Simonds said. "The pitching was much better. Pitching and defense is going to be big for us."

The Red and White won the second game behind solid pitching and a big first inning. Freshman pitcher Brian Thene got the start for the 'Hawks and went three innings, giving up no runs and picking up his first career win in the process.

"It was good to get that out of Brian," Simonds said. "wHe could have gone longer, but we had to keep him ready for the weekend."

Eight of the team's nine batters got hits during the game, contributing to 11 team hits. Senior outfielder Bryce Redeker and sophomores Marcus Makuch and Dan Walsh each had two hits. Walsh's biggest hit came on a two-run double in the first inning that helped spark a five-run first. Junior first baseman Kevin Bower also responded with two RBIs in the second game.

"It was just a good game for everybody," Walsh said. "We needed to get back on track heading into conference play."

The RedHawks only scored one more run after the first but did not need any more as their pitching shut down Xavier's offense. The Musketeers' only real offensive rally came in the ninth inning when they pushed across two runs to make the final score 6-3 in favor of the 'Hawks.

The first game was not as kind to the RedHawks though as XU hit Miami's pitching early and often. All four pitchers the RedHawks sent to the mound gave up runs. Sophomore pitcher Charles Zubrod got the start in the opener but only went three innings while giving up three runs.

Freshman outfielder Matt Honchel had two hits against XU in the series opener while senior outfielder Ryan Brenner, sophomore catcher John Crummy and freshman outfielder Jacob Wolf each had an RBI and a hit in the opener.

The RedHawks now travel to Ypsilanti, Mich. to open up Mid-American Conference (MAC) play with a three-game series this weekend against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles who are 5-12 on the season. The two teams have not met since 2009 when Miami swept Eastern in a three-game series in Oxford, Ohio.

"The guys are ready and they are looking forward to starting MAC play," Simonds said. "All of this has been preparation for it."

First pitch is 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. The final game will be 1 p.m. Sunday.

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