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Rounding the bases: Miami baseball season preview

By Bryan Willis, For The Miami Student

The Miami University baseball team kicks off its 2016 campaign Friday, as it travels to Buies Creek, North Carolina to take on Campbell University.

In his third year as manager, Danny Hayden has high expectations for his ball club.

"I want to be the toughest team 56 times and that's my biggest goal for this season," Hayden said. "I want these guys to embrace that competition, if we can do that I think we're going to win a bunch of games."

Coming off a season with many lows and not too many highs, the 'Hawks posted a 13-39 overall record (11-16 Mid American Conference), placing them second to last in the conference. University at Buffalo was last with a 7-20 overall record.

Now, with the 2015 season behind them, the RedHawks look for key leadership from the upperclassmen.

"Coming out everyday for the boys, getting the job done is a big step," said senior captain Chad Sedio. "It's nice being a captain and leading by example both verbally and physically."

Sedio played only 24 games in the 2015 season before suffering a season-ending injury at University of Louisville. He posted a .330 batting average and a .560 slugging percentage that included 13 extra-base hits and nine RBIs.

The 33-man roster consists of five seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and 13 freshmen.

"We have some fierce competition at some different positions," Hayden said. "We will have to see who can take ahold of those spots and exceed our expectations."

Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the team.


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Of the 17 pitchers on the roster, 14 are right-handers and three are lefties.

Senior Nick Scheller appeared in nine games for the 'Hawks in 2015, pitching 14.1 innings and striking out seven. Senior Daniel Mooney arrives at Miami after spending three years at Ohio Dominican University, where he appeared in 17 games. In 2013, he made the conference honorable mention team.

Junior Jacob Banks has a Miami career 5.13 ERA, which includes 86 strike-outs in 78.1 innings pitched. Junior Brad Schwartz made 22 appearances out of the bullpen last season with 46.2 innings pitched, putting him second on the team among relievers in innings pitched.

Redshirt junior Tyler Harris might see time after sitting out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He played two seasons at Missouri State University prior to joining the RedHawks.

Junior Eric Handelman is another transfer. He was a member of the Miami University-Hamilton team before transferring to Oxford.

Junior Ryan Marske appeared in 21 games last year, striking out 14 batters.

Sophomore Gus Graham earned a 4.14 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched, while sophomore T.J. Galenti has not seen playing time with the RedHawks.

The 'Hawks welcome eight freshmen to the pitching roster: Andy Almquist, Zach Hoffmann, Shane Smith, Michael Hendricks, Nicholas Ernst, Bailey Martin, Cole Gnetz and Zach Spears.


The roster includes two young catchers in sophomore Spencer Dull and freshman Hayden Senger. Dull had a .286 batting average in 70 at-bats in 2015 and a clean .967 fielding percentage behind the plate.


Senior Jake Romano had a .296 batting average, three homeruns and 17 RBIs last year. Senior Gary Russo knocked in 56 runs, 12 homeruns and 85 hits in 327 plate appearances last season.

Redshirt junior Julian Flanary appeared in 17 games last season with five starts in the outfield.

Sophomore Brooks Urich appeared in 19 games and started in six his freshman season. In 31 at-bats, he totaled four hits, including two doubles. Sophomore Charlie Dauch appeared in three games last year, scoring one run against University of Toledo.

Freshman Dallas Hall comes to Miami out of Lakota West high school, where he was a four-year letterman with 100 career hits, 25 stolen bases, 7 home runs and 76 RBIs. Freshman Adam Purdy attended Eilda high school, where he set the school's all-time hits record (116) and in 2015 earned a .467 batting average, 19 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.


Senior captain Chad Sedio holds a .309 career batting average with Miami and has totaled 49 RBIs and 12 homeruns in 405 plate appearances. The Perfect Game's list of Top 100 college seniors ranks Sedio at No. 48.

Junior Adam Yacek had a whopping .337 batting average, six homeruns and 27 RBIs in 2015. Junior Steve Sada started 51 games at second base and had 16 multi-hit games.

Sophomore Mizuki Shumsky did not play last season, but was a four-year letterman as an infielder, catcher and pitcher for John Seevers at American High School in Japan prior to joining the 'Hawks.

2016 Projected MAC Standings:

East Division

Kent State



Bowling Green


West Division

Central Michigan

Ball State


Western Michigan

Northern Illinois

Eastern Michigan