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’Hawks return to Tennessee for three games

By Bryan Wills, For The Miami Student

After a weekend in which the Miami University baseball team scored 29 combined runs in back-to-back wins at the Mule Mix Classic in Nashville, Tenn., the RedHawks (3-3) travel back down south to take on Tennessee Tech University (4-3) this weekend.

"It was a pretty good weekend," manager Danny Hayden said about the team's last outing. "Campbell was a dog fight and Middle Tennessee State was probably the best game we've played all year."

Freshman left-handed pitcher Zach Spears earned his first collegiate win last Sunday at Middle Tennessee after tossing six innings of four-hit ball. He allowed just two runs.

Redshirt sophomore infielder Ross Haffey was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week after an 8-for-15 performance at the Mule Mix Classic that included two grand slams, 13 RBI, two doubles and four runs. He is hitting .440 on the year and leads MU with 14 RBI and six extra-base hits.

Tennessee Tech began its season with a sweep over Western Illinois University. Its first loss was to University of Central Arkansas. Sophomore first baseman Chase Chambers leads the Golden Eagles, who is off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .450 with nine hits and two homeruns.

The TTU lineup has five players batting .308 or above, including four who are batting at least .370.

"We're trying to figure out how we want to manage our rotation and bullpen," Hayden said. "We don't have guys in the right spot, but there is a lot of talent and we will get them in the right spot."

The last meeting between TTU and MU was in 2014 when the Golden Eagles swept the 'Hawks in a two-game series.

Miami's 3-3 starting record through the first six games is the best the Red and White have seen since the 2012 season, when they also began 3-3. Since 2003, Miami has not had a record better than .500 through the first six games of the season.

"We just have to stay focused on getting better everyday," Hayden said. "We have the pieces to have success, and it's our job as coaches to put guys in the right spots to be able to succeed and win ball games."

The three-game series begins at 3 p.m. Friday in Cookville, Tenn.

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