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Baseball bounces the Bonnies in three-game series

Zach Reichman - The Miami Student
Zach Reichman - The Miami Student

For the last three weeks, there's been no way to stop the Miami RedHawks. Or their bats.

The RedHawks (15-3) clinched their 12th straight victory after defeating the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 8-0 in Sunday's series finale. They haven't lost since Feb. 24 at Murray State.

Since then, Miami's offense has averaged 10 runs a game, while allowing only three.

The bats provided the necessary boost to continue the winning streak, again, this weekend, tallying 33 runs in the three-game sweep.

The Bonnies gave the RedHawks their toughest battle on Saturday, as Miami grinded out a 7-6 win.

Friday and Sunday's games were less strenuous for the RedHawks. They won 18-10 to kick off the series and 8-0 to close it.

The 18 runs scored on Friday were the most Miami has put up in one game since 2015, when it blew out Toledo 31-5.

And, there wasn't just one hero - seemingly everyone contributed.

Of the nine hitters in the lineup, redshirt junior outfielder Kyle Winkler was the only RedHawk held without a hit, but he walked three times and crossed the plate three times. Four players had three RBIs each, while three others added an RBI apiece.

Atypical of an offensive fireworks display, Miami didn't hit a single home run all weekend. It only had six extra-base hits during the series, with three of them coming in the 18-run opener. The scoring output resulted from patience at the plate (23 walks) and timely hitting with runners on base.

"The whole goal is that we focus on one pitch at a time, so it's always whatever the next one is, and I think we did a pretty good job of that today," MU head coach Danny Hayden said. "That'll be the goal for the rest of the season whether it's Friday where they put up seven runs in the first inning and we got into a six-run lead today, it can't change our approach to the game. We just have to take it one pitch at a time."

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Sophomore outfielder Cristian Tejada went six-for-14 (.429), contributing five RBIs and scoring five times throughout the weekend.

Junior third baseman Landon Stephens, while quiet on Friday and Sunday, led the charge on Saturday going three-for-five with three RBIs, including a walk-off ground-rule double.

Senior outfielder Mackay Williams exploded for seven hits in 13 at bats (.538). He also walked three times, scored six runs and drove in three runners.

Now sitting at 15-3, this is Miami's best start to a season since Hayden took over in 2014.

But, the RedHawks haven't played the same quality of teams over the beginning stretch of 2019 that they'll play in the Mid-American Conference. The last four ballclubs they've faced had won a combined two games by the time they played Miami.

That changes this week.

The RedHawks start a five-game road trip at Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, before traveling to Kent State to take on the MAC-preseason-favorite Golden Flashes on Friday.

"We're excited to get into the MAC slate," Hayden said. "We'll see where we stack up against these guys.", @ChrisAVinel, @bennettmwise