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'Hawks take two from Bowling Green

By Tom Downey
On April 24, 2012

  • Freshman second baseman Ryan Elble flips to freshman, shortstop Scott Slappey to start a double-play Sunday against Bowling Green State University (BGSU). The RedHawks won the game 5-2 and took the series 2-1 over BGSU. Blake Wilson | The Miami Student

After losing seven of its last 10, the Miami University baseball team (20-20, 6-9 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) took the final two games in their three-game series with Bowling Green State University to take over sole possession of fourth place in the MAC East Division.

"We have been reeling a little bit," senior pitcher Mac Thoreson said. "Things haven't been going our way. We hadn't been playing good collective baseball. To take the first weekend against an opponent on our side of the division was huge."

The bottom of the lineup came up big for the offense over the course of the series, breaking past trends. Sophomore third baseman Dan Walsh stepped up and was 3-9 with three runs. Freshman shortstop Scott Slappey swung the bat well and went 3-10 with three RBIs in addition to his defensive prowess. Adding to the offense was freshman second baseman Ryan Elble, who went 2-8 with 3 runs and one RBI. He also drew one walk and was hit by three pitches.

"Young guys that are a little more experienced," Head Coach Dan Simonds said. "And they are starting to get better."

Senior Shawn Marquardt led the RedHawks to a 7-0 victory in the second game, pitching eight shutout innings.

"A senior [Marquardt] stepping up," Simonds said. "He's stepped up before and we needed him. It was a great performance."

Marquardt gave up only five hits while striking out six, and he improved to 5-3 on the year in the process.

"The way things have been going, it felt like a game we needed to win," Marquardt said. "I think it was a must win for us and we came through."

Junior starter Mac Thoreson picked up the win in the series finale. Thoreson went seven innings and gave up two runs, only one earned, on nine hits. He is now 4-3 on the year.

The Red and White won the final game 5-2 despite having only six hits compared to Bowling Green's nine.

"They got a couple of dinky hits early," Thoreson said. "We made a huge adjustment in my delivery and now I'm seeing the results that I did all last year."

Junior Brooks Fiala picked up loss in the 7-2 defeat in the first game, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and three walks over 5.1 innings. The loss dropped him to 2-5 on the year.

"I think we've changed some things up a little bit and hopefully we can feed off it," Simonds said. "We'll continue to compete each and every pitch of each and every game. That's going to be the key right now."

The RedHawks have a home-and-home series against Indiana University (IU) Tuesday and Wednesday. They will travel to IU Tuesday and return home Wednesday.

The Hoosiers enter the series 18-22 overall and 6-6 in the Big Ten Conference. They took their most recent series with Georgia Southern University, nearly sweeping them before falling in the finale.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at McKie Field.

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