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RedHawks try to continue winning ways against CMU

Brianna Nixon - The Miami Student
Brianna Nixon - The Miami Student

Against Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University by scores of 5-4 and 7-0, respectively, Miami (7-16) bounced back after losing their Mid-American Conference series.

MU is now faced with an opportunity to right the wrongs of their first MAC series when they visit Central Michigan University (10-14) this weekend for a three game series.

The CMU Chippewas have lost three of their last five games and will be making their debut in conference play when they take on the 'Hawks.

Danny Hayden, head coach for the Red and White, warns that despite what the Chippewas record suggests, they're still a talented baseball team.

"Central is kind of an easy team to get for, in that there's not a ton of surprises, they've been a pretty good team. For as long as I've played and coached, Central has been pretty good."

The biggest strength for Central Michigan is undoubtedly their offensive output at the plate. In the 24 games they've played so far, they have made 143 runs and their scoring has reached double-digits in three of their games.

Leading the charge at the plate for CMU is the duo of sophomore infielder Jason Sullivan and junior outfielder Daniel Jipping. On the season, the two have combined to hit four home runs, 10 doubles, two triples -- all while driving in 40 runs.

MU will be spearheaded by sophomore outfielder Dallas Hall and Redshirt junior infielder Ross Haffey. The pair has totaled six home runs, three doubles with 19 RBI's.

CMU has a clear advantage at the plate; the RedHawks lack of offense has been a persistent problem this season and could play a role this weekend.

"I think everything for us is getting the hitters to think good things when they're going up there," Hayden said. "And right now, that has been a struggle, for a lot of the season. But I think it's moving in the right direction."

The Red and White's 1-11 record on the road has contributed to the team's poor overall record. Luckily for the 'Hawks, Hayden doesn't see this being a talking point by season's end.

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"I don't think there's much difference to a home game versus a road game, in terms of our team's intent to win the game. So, it's an interesting statistic right now, but I don't think it's going to end up holding much water as the season goes on."

Another reason for the team's disappointing start is the difficulty of their schedule, something that the program did on purpose. Needless to say, the out-of-conference slate has lived up to the billing of being tough.

"We've played 10 games against teams in the Top-25 in different polls; it was a challenging schedule. We did it that way on purpose. I thought this team would be ready to compete at that level," Hayden said. "We had some tough results. I'm not saying we're not ready to compete at that level, but we had some tough results."

First pitch to kick off Miami's second MAC series is scheduled for today at 3:05 p.m.