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RedHawks sweep Eagles

By Steven Perkins
On April 22, 2014

The Miami University baseball team swept Mid-American Conference foe Eastern Michigan University on the road this weekend, extending its winning streak tofive games.

The RedHawks (18-20, 8-7 MAC) defeated the Eagles (13-24, 2-13) 3-1 Friday despite giving up 10 hits. Miami senior starter Seth Varner pitched 7 and 2-3 scoreless innings, recording five strikeouts. Varner did allow seven hits and gave two batters free passes, but he stranded all nine of EMU's base runners.

Miami's bats put up nine hits, including multiple hit outings from senior third baseman Dan Walsh, sophomore outfielder Chad Sedio and sophomore designated hitter Gary Russo, who all recorded two hits. The RedHawks leftsix runners on base.

Head coach Danny Hayden was not surprised by his team's effort at the plate.

"The consistent thing with our team is hits," Hayden said, "Run production goes up and down but we always seem to hit well."

Miami closer and right-handed senior Charles Zubrod pitched the ninth inning and gave up one run on three hits. Zubrod also recorded one strikeout and was credited with the save, his third of the year.

Hayden said he has been pleased with Zubrod so far this year.

"Zubrod has done a really good job this year," Hayden said. "We'll keep running him out there."

The RedHawks returned Saturday to defeat the Eagles behind the strength of their bats 8-2. Freshman second baseman and newly appointed leadoff hitter Steve Sada was 4 for 5 with two RBIs on the day. Also recording two RBIs were Walsh and senior first baseman John Crummy.

Crummy said his coaches helped him get out of his recent slump.

"I think I was just trying to do too much the past few weeks," Crummy said. "Coach [Jeremy] Ison just told me to slow everything down and simplify at the plate and that's what helped me Saturday and Sunday."

Miami recorded 16 hits compared to Eastern Michigan's three. All nine of Miami's starting batters had at least one hit, and five of those batters were credited with multiple hits.

Miami's pitching was also impressive. Junior right-hander Nathan Williams gave up just one hit during a scoreless 7-inning outing. He walked three batters and struck out two. Closing pitcher Ryan Haynes pitched the final two innings, giving up two runs on two hits.

"We had good starting pitching in all five games [of Miami's current winning streak]," Hayden said. "The common thing is starts have been good."

Crummy agreed with his coach.

"We've pitched well the past few games," Crummy said. "Which is probably the most important facet of our game."

Miami finished the sweep Sunday, edging EMU 9-7. The RedHawks opened up a big lead early and fought off a late rally to win their fifth straight game.

The RedHawks pitching staff allowed a weekend high seven runs on ten hits. Junior starter Ryan Powers was credited the win, his fifth of the year. Powers allowed three of the seven runs on five hits. Closing for the RedHawks was Zubrod once again. He allowed four runs on four hits. Also pitching one inning was freshman Brad Schwartz. He pitched one scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

"We do have some things to work out in the bullpen," Hayden said.

Miami's bats tallied 16 hits again with impressive outings from Sada and junior left fielder Matt Honchel. Both players went 3 for 5. Sada hit .563 for the series and received the MAC East Player of the Week award.

Hayden said he has been more than impressed with Sada's play.

"He's been doing well all year and especially this last week," Hayden said. "He makes pitchers throw what he wants to hit. He's not getting lucky."

Miami returns home this week, kicking off a nine game home series against the University of Dayton, a team Miami beat earlier this year 8-4.

Crummy said he is both excited for the homestand.

"We just need to keep doing what we've been doing," Crummy said. "As long as we play within ourselves and work hard on offense and defense we'll be fine. Pitchers will throw strikes and we'll keep the bats going."

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