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MU sweeps Flyer Classic

By Tom Downey
On March 18, 2014

The Miami University baseball team swept the Flyer Classic this weekend, defeating the University of Dayton once and Canisius College twice.

The RedHawks (7-9) played a doubleheader at home Friday, knocking off Canisius (10-6) 20-11 in the opening game and Dayton (3-12) 8-4 in the closing game. The 'Hawks then defeated the Golden Griffins 7-4 Saturday. Miami was supposed to play Dayton again Sunday, but the game was canceled due to inclement weather.

The bats came alive Friday and the final score looked more like the game was being played at Yager Stadium instead of McKie Field at Hayden Park. Miami pushed across 20 runs in the opening game; the most Miami has scored in a game since March 6, 2011 when it defeated Leigh University 20-2. The 20 runs represented more points than the Miami football team scored in any game this season.

"It was a hitter's day for sure," head coach Danny Hayden said. "We had the wind blowing out, anything you hit up in the air was really difficult to catch just because it was going over people's heads. Out. They didn't struggle scoring runs either."

Half the RedHawks' runs came in the sixth inning, as they batted around and scored 10 times.

Sophomore designated hitter Gary Russo led the charge on offense, going 4 for 5 with six RBIs, two doubles and a home run. He fell a triple short of the cycle.

Junior catcher Max Andresen made a rare start in right field and went 5 for 6 with four RBIs and two doubles.

"Max Andresen was seeing beach balls today," Hayden said after Friday's doubleheader. "Every time he let the bat go off his shoulder, it got crushed... Max is in a good groove right now and I'm just trying to find ways to keep him in the lineup. That was probably his first collegiate outfield time today. We're just trying to find ways to keep his bat in the lineup because he's really swinging it."

Leadoff hitter and sophomore outfielder Jake Romano went 3 for 5 with a walk, two RBIs, three runs scored, a double and a triple. He fell a home run shy of the cycle.

Senior Seth Varner (3-1, 3.69 ERA) picked up the win, going 6 innings and allowing five earned runs. He also struckout seven batters.

Andresen and Russo continued the offensive attack in the second game, as Miami defeated Dayton 8-4. Russo recorded only one hit, but that hit was an inside-the-park home run.

"That was the first time I've ever done that, that's for sure," Russo said. "I saw coach [Jeremy] Ison rounding third and I thought he was gonna stop me, but he told me to keep going and I was only concerned about getting home and getting that run for my team."

Andresen, who played catcher in the second game, went 2 for 4 with two triples and a pair of RBIs.

Junior Nathan Williams (1-2, 8.61 ERA) had a quality start and picked up his first win of the season. Williams pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out six.

Canisius actually out-hit the RedHawks in Miami's 7-4 win, but the bullpen carried the 'Hawks in the third and final game.

Freshman Brad Schwartz (1-2, 2.70 ERA) and sophomore Wynston McMartin (0-0, 1.59 ERA) took over for Ryan Powers (1-2, 7.66 ERA).

Powers threw 105 pitches and gave up three runs and eight hits in just four innings of work. Schwartz threw three innings of scoreless baseball, picking up the win and giving up just two hits. McMartin picked up his third save of the year by allowing just one run over two innings of work.

Andresen continued his hot streak, going 2 for 3 with one RBI. He is hitting an impressive .415 for the season. He was named MAC East Player of the Week for his efforts during the Flyer Classic.

The RedHawks face off against Northern Kentucky University Tuesday. The Norse are 3-13 this season have lost their last six games. Starting pitchers have not been announced. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on the redhawkradio.com sports channel.


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