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'Hawks take two-of-three in BGSU, win first MAC series

Angelo Gelfuso - The Miami Student
Angelo Gelfuso - The Miami Student

At long last, after a sweep in Friday's doubleheader -- despite losing the finale 3-1 -- RedHawks baseball (19-26) was victorious in a three-game Mid-American Conference series on the road against Bowling Green State University (11-28).

For Miami, winning this set meant ramifications in the East Division. The Falcons dropped from third to fourth place, now holding a 6-12 conference record. MU kept their fifth place spot with a 5-10 mark in MAC play.

The two wins over BGSU, clinching the series win on the first day, came via scores of 10-4 and 9-6. This is in line with Miami's recent explosive offensive output. Over the past 10 contests, this production has yielded six runs per game.

Game one proved to be an eruption, with 14 runs scored total. The offense was underway in the top of the first inning. Not just in the first frame of the series, but the first batter to take pitches.

The Red and White's designated hitter Tyler Harris took a 1-1 pitch from Bowling Green Redshirt junior pitcher Tyler Anderson and deposited it in the left field seats to kick-off the scoring. After one inning, the 'Hawks held a 1-0 lead.

Three half-innings of respite followed. In the bottom of the third, the Falcons would clap back. Leadoff hitter, freshman centerfielder Jake Wilson singled up the middle to tie the affair at 1-1.

Bowling Green would take their first lead of the series after three runs in the bottom of the sixth. But seven runs scored by the RedHawks in the seventh and eighth innings would put the game away, giving MU a 10-4 series-opening win.

While responsible for BGSU's four runs, MU pitcher Shane Smith pitched seven innings. Facing 29 batters, he allowed hits to eight and struck out two, giving him his third win of the season.

The evening affair between the two programs was as an up-and-down as a game can be.

After the top of the third, Miami led 5-0. Behind three home runs from freshman second baseman Landon Stephens and a run from both freshman left fielder Cal Elvers and Redshirt junior first baseman Ross Haffey, the first blow had been dealt.

Refusing to quit, BGSU came roaring back.

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It was a fourth inning, three-run double to left center by sophomore third baseman Cam Daugherty that started the comeback and brought the Steller Field crowd of 103 to its feet. Going into the top of the sixth, the dust had settled, and the score was now tied 6-6.

While the comeback was admirable for the Falcons, their offense was out of gas. They failed to keep up with the 'Hawks. The decisive moment -- spelling defeat in not only the affair, but the set -- was when Tyler Harris singled up the middle to drive home the go-ahead run.

Once the final out had been recorded, Miami had won their first MAC series -- a culmination of their season-long efforts.

With the rubber match over-and-done, the final contest had no bearing on determining the set's winner. The game was originally scheduled to be played Saturday, but was moved to Sunday due to inclement weather.

On the day, the 'Hawks recorded only six hits and the bottom of the second inning put MU away early.

BGSU junior catcher Justin Mott commenced the scoring with a single to centerfield to drive home one, and a double from Redshirt sophomore right fielder Jeff Scott drove home another. Sophomore Red and White pitcher Nick Ernst threw a wild pitch to score the third run, putting the game out of reach early.

Miami's offense failed to get going throughout the afternoon; their only run came from a Ross Haffey double to left field. As such, the 'Hawks fell short in the ultimate affair by a score of 3-1, rounding out the series.

Up next, the RedHawks take on No. 2 ranked Louisville University on the road this Tuesday, before coming home to play Butler the next day. Both of these games are one-time ordeals, with both contests starting at 6:00 p.m.

Conference-wise, MU will host Buffalo University on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.