By Coburn Gillies, Assistant Sports Editor
The Miami University baseball team looks to right the ship this weekend, one week after being swept by Pittsburgh University. The RedHawks will travel south to Lexington, Ky., to play one game against the University of Kentucky.
Miami's losses to Pitt came after winning eight of its previous nine games.
"I think the biggest problem was our focus. Every game needs to be great in order to win, and it wasn't in those three games. There were things to point to more so than others, and we need to be more consistent with our approach. Whenever we play good baseball, we give ourselves a good chance to win. That wasn't the case this past weekend," head coach Dan Hayden said.
Redshirt sophomore infielder Ross Haffey shared similar sentiments.
"I think we ran into a couple of good pitchers," Haffey said. "We just have to stay consistent with our hitting, and hopefully the pitching comes back to where it was during our run."
While the Pitt series was disappointing, the team is confident it can bounce back.
"Every team goes through slumps and skids. It's just apart of baseball," senior infielder Chad Sedio said.
For Miami, this matchup against the Wildcats presents an opportunity.
"They have a good team. It's a great chance for us to get on a baseball field. It's always good to beat someone who is talented. Kentucky is probably the best team left on our schedule, if we can beat them, the confidence should be flowing," Hayden said.
"Before the Pitt series we were hot going in. A couple of those close games we lost late. We had a lead at one point in both of those games that were close. I think we can bounce back against Kentucky" Sedio said.
This Kentucky game serves as a quality chance to not just improve Miami's record, but to work out the apparent kinks from the Pitt series. While MU prepares for the Wildcats, the Golden Flashes of Kent State University loom around the corner.
"I think we are in a good position right now with Kent State on the docket. We are both at the top of our division and it's a good chance to take some games from them," said Ross Haffey.
Hayden had thoughts of a similar nature.
"It's a huge weekend for us. For us, every conference game is the playoffs. We are fighting like crazy to get the best seed we can. Kent state is at the top. We are doing well, but we are not ahead of them. We gotta take two from them; if we do that I'll feel good. We have to take care of business this weekend."
A hitter-pitcher duel to watch will be between senior designated hitter Gary Russo, Miami's leading home run hitter, and Kentucky's sophomore southpaw Zach Logue. Logue has a 3.10 ERA to date this season.
In the Kent State series, the battle to look out for will be inside of the outfield grass, as sophomore Ross Haffey, who leads Miami with a .383 batting average, faces the Golden Flashes' sophomore Dylan Rosa. Rosa leads Kent State with a .853 ielding percentage.
If the RedHawks sweep the Flashes, the 'Hawks will surpass KSU for lead of the Mid-American Conference East division, as Kent State currently sits atop with a conference record of 12-3. MU comes into the series 9-3 in the MAC.
This won't be an easy task, as Kent State is on a nine-game win streak.
The RedHawks play Kentucky University in Lexington, KY Thursday and make the trip to Kent, Ohio to start a three game series with the Golden Flashes on Friday.