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Mercer makes weekend difficult for RedHawks

By Joe Gieringer
On March 4, 2013

The Miami University baseball team was swept in a three-game series this weekend versus red-hot Mercer University.

The Bears (11-1) defeated the RedHawks 11-5 Friday evening, driving in nine of their runs in the fifth inning alone off of two Miami pitchers. The Red and White recuperated in the eighth with four scores of their own, the most runs they've scored in an inning this year, but the damage had already been done.

"We played a very, very good team, and we certainly didn't play our best baseball," Head Coach Dan Simonds said. "We just did not execute in any part of our game. Pitching, hitting - the defense wasn't too bad. But even in base running, we just didn't threaten enough to put any pressure on them through the course of the three games."

Miami (2-6) didn't fare much better in Saturday's double header, which saw the RedHawks fall 9-6 and 11-0, the latter marking the first time they have failed to score in a complete nine-inning game this year. The first game of the afternoon was indeed a close one, as Miami collected 11 hits in an error-less outing. The following contest was the complete opposite, as the RedHawks were held to a single hit in the blowout defeat.

"It was a tough weekend for us," junior second baseman Matt Packer said. "We played a really good team and they came out ready to play. Their pitchers came out and threw strikes and their defense played behind them, and we just couldn't get the big hits when we needed them."

In the face of a tough sweep, Simonds is stressing to his team what any good coach would in his situation - that they've got to focus their attention forward., especially this early in the season.

"That's what this game is all about; a short memory," Simonds said. "I talked to our captains about it and talked to our team after the games, just the importance of that. If you let things linger, they have a way of bleeding into other games. This game is very much about confidence."

Sophomore pitcher Ryan Powers agreed too, saying this was a launching pad for a team that is still discovering who it is.

"It's something all successful teams and players do," Powers said. "You can't dwell on the past, and this has to be a learning experience for us. We'll move and get better the next day."

Miami is back in action today against Xavier University, before traveling to Winter Haven, Fla., for the Russ Matt Invitational.

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