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Two grand slams propel MU to victory

By Bryan Wills, For The Miami Student

The Miami University baseball team improves to 3-3 after taking a loss and picking up two wins at the Mule Mix Classic in Nashville, Tenn. this weekend.

The 'Hawks dropped the first game of the three-game series 13-6 against Lipscomb University (5-2) on Friday. Miami had six total hits on the day.

Starting pitcher junior Brad Schwartz (0-2) took his second loss of the season, giving up seven earned runs on five hits and five walks in three innings of work.

Freshman Shane Smith came in on relief in the fourth inning. Smith pitched 3.1 innings and gave up three earned runs on six hits. Freshmen Cole Gnetz gave up two earned runs in one inning pitched. Senior reliever Daniel Mooney also made an appearance in the game.

In the second game against Belmont University (4-2), MU's bats came alive en route to a 16-14 victory.

"We did a lot of stuff not really good today," manager Danny Hayden said Saturday. "But what I'm proud of is that we kept coming back, we're getting tough and we have a really good lineup."

The RedHawks totaled seven hits in the fourth inning, scoring six runs and taking a 7-4 lead through 3.5 innings. Redshirt sophomore infielder Ross Haffey started off the inning with a single, and senior outfielder Gary Russo followed up with a two-run homerun.

Redshirt junior infielder Adam Yacek doubled to right center field and was advanced to third base on a single from senior infielder Chad Sedio. After Sedio stole second base, senior outfielder Jake Romano grounded out, but Yacek scored and Sedio reached third on the play.

Junior redshirt junior outfielder Julian Flanary got in on the action with an RBI double, scoring Sedio. Harris came up with a double of his own to bring Flanary home.

Junior infielder Steve Sada topped off the inning with an RBI single to score Harris.

Belmont scored runs in the sixth inning, but the RedHawks responded with six runs on four hits in the seventh.

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With the bases loaded, Haffey jacked a grand slam to right field, giving the RedHawks a 15-13 lead.

Freshman pitcher Andy Almquist (1-0) picked up the victory on the day, the first win of his Miami career. Junior Ryan Marske completed his second save of the season.

In the final game of the weekend, Miami beat Middle Tennessee State (4-3), 13-5, on Sunday.

Freshmen Zach Spears got the start for the 'Hawks. He pitched six innings, striking out five and allowing four hits, three walks and two earned runs.

"Zach Spears gave us a really, really good start," Hayden said. "[He] set the tempo early. When he throws like he did in the first, it's what we want to do everyday."

Almquist pitched 1.1 innings in relief, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on two hits. He walked two batters and struck out one. Smith capped off the day, striking out two in 1.2 innings of work.

The bats came alive in the sixth inning. Yacek led off with a walk, and Sedio came through with a two-run homerun, his first of the season.

For the second time in two days, the bases were loaded when Haffey stepped up to bat. He hit homer to give the 'Hawks another grand slam and a 8-0 lead at the end of the inning.

"Probably the best game we've played so far," Hayden said. "We took care of the baseball and swung the bats good."

Miami travels back to Tennessee next weekend to take on Tennessee Tech (4-3) in a three-game series.