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’Hawks win first home game, fall to MAC cellar

Photo by Andrew Katko

By Daniel Taylor, For The Miami Student

The Miami University baseball team fell to last place in the Mid-American Conference standings after losing two of three games over the weekend to the State University of New York at Buffalo. Miami fell 6-11 Friday and bounced back with a 6-3win Saturday. The 'Hawks fell 6-0 Sunday.

The Bulls (9-18, 4-8 MAC) moved out of the cellar and jumped the RedHawks by means of good pitching and offense and capitalizing on RedHawk miscues.

Friday night began well for the Red and White (6-25, 4-8 MAC), as they scored the first two runs of the game. However, the Bulls rallied for four in the fourth inning and added five in the sixth inning to pad the lead.

Senior Ryan Powers pitched 5 1-3 innings and allowed eight runs. Only one run was earned, due to six RedHawk errors.

"That was about as bad as we could've played," manager Danny Hayden said. "We've played some bad baseball this year, none worse than that."

Hayden said the goal was use Powers to get a win and begin making up ground in the MAC, but the errors were too much to overcome.

In Saturday's game, sophomore righty Jacob Banks gave the team a shot in the arm. In 5 innings, Banks allowed three runs to cross the plate.

After Banks left the game, the team notched four innings of one-hit baseball from the bullpen combo of sophomore Brad Schwartz and senior Will Schierholz to close out the Bulls.

"Schwartz has emerged as a guy we can count on," Hayden said.

The offense gave Banks some unfamiliar run support after scoring five in the first. Junior Gary Russo led MU, hitting 2-4 with two RBIs.

The win was Miami's first home victory of the season.

Sunday started off slow, but Buffalo took a 3-0 lead by the end of the fifth inning. After the seventh, the Bulls led 6-0.

"There's no excuse for three hits on a Sunday in a conference game," Hayden said.

He was pleased with senior Ryan Haynes and sophomore Ryan Marske, who both pitched out of jams. Overall, Hayden was happy with bullpen throughout the weekend series.

Hayden said the offense remains a focus and wants to see it improve in the coming weeks.

"We've got to get back to the basics with what our approach is," Hayden said. "It's not a swing thing, it's not a mechanical thing, it's what's between their ears right now."

The RedHawks attempt to rebound this week at the Joe Nuxhall Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio. They play Wright State University Tuesday and either University of Cincinnati or Xavier University Wednesday.

Miami has lost to all three teams this season. Cincinnati won 3-1 in the season opener, and Xavier swept the RedHawks 5-10 in both games March 16 and 17. MU fell 7-3 to Wright State March 24.

The RedHawks look to gain any type of momentum before MAC play resumes this weekend.

First pitch against Wright State is 3 p.m. Tuesday.