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‘The Good Guys’ sweep Purdue Fort Wayne, hit dingers, set records

<p>Senior Landon Stephens swings during a 7-3 Miami victory over Purdue Fort Wayne Saturday at Hayden Park. </p>

Senior Landon Stephens swings during a 7-3 Miami victory over Purdue Fort Wayne Saturday at Hayden Park.

The RedHawks had little to complain about last weekend.

In its first home series of the season, Miami University swept Purdue Fort Wayne, made the ball fly out of the park like it was induced by mid-August humidity and played just about every man on its roster, including a player who set a program record.

And, really, most of that happened Sunday afternoon.

The self-proclaimed “Good Guys” claimed a 6-2 Friday victory and won 7-3 on Saturday. The RedHawk offense exploded on Sunday, tallying 18 runs — the most since they posted 18 against St. Bonaventure on March 15 of last season — in an 18-8 win.

The resulting sweep felt good for Danny Hayden’s ballclub after it was broomed by Texas A&M in the season-opening, three-game set.

“I was really excited about the way we played baseball,” Hayden, Miami’s seventh-year head coach, said Sunday.

Cole Andrews drives in runs and lots of ’em

“I just wanted to get back on track,” sophomore catcher Cole Andrews said after Sunday’s RedHawk victory.

Boy, did he ever.

After starting the season 0-for-4 at the plate, Andrews caught fire with a three-run, first-inning bomb over the left-field wall Sunday, and the production didn’t stop.

He picked up two more hits on the afternoon, driving in five additional runs to set a new single-game program record of eight.

Last season, Andrews spent most of his playing time as Miami’s designated hitter, so he had to worry about only hitting. 

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Sunday, he made his first career start behind the dish, catching the RedHawk pitching staff for all nine innings. He said he actually prefers batting and playing in the field, and he thinks it might’ve helped his performance.

“I thought it was a little more comfortable,” Andrews said. “That’s where I’ve been my whole life. It’s definitely good to get back out there and feel that out and have the first one here.”

Hey, Will Vogelgesang — did you up your bench press?

Yeah, Will Vogelgesang might have relinquished Player of the Game duties to Andrews on Sunday, but the senior second baseman starred all weekend for the RedHawks.

He is off to a hot start in this young season, and a large part of that is his newfound power.

After hitting just one home run in 2019, he has already smashed three this year, including two against the Mastodons.

Overall, he is hitting .381 with a team-high nine runs batted in and three stolen bases. Four of his eight hits have gone for extra bases.

Grant Hartwig and Jay Wilson return triumphantly to Hayden Park

The home crowd had not seen either pitcher on the mound in nearly two years. 

After missing all of 2019 with injuries, redshirt juniors Grant Hartwig and Jay Wilson each pitched Sunday, making their first appearances at Hayden Park since late in the 2018 season. 

Hartwig, a year and a half removed from Tommy John surgery, came on for the second time this season after throwing once at Texas A&M. He gave the RedHawks two innings of relief Sunday and surrendered two runs.

Wilson, pitching for the first time since his injury, hurled one frame of no-hit ball. He has actually lost the entirety of two collegiate seasons (2017, 2019) to injury.

“I think Jay is one of the easiest guys to like in our program,” Hayden said. “And, also, you don’t like feeling sorry for anybody, but Jay has had some tough luck with some injuries. Definitely, getting him on the mound and getting him at McKie [Field] was special. It’s awesome. And then to see him do really good, too, was icing on the cake.”

This afternoon, Miami will play its first midweek game of 2020. The RedHawks travel to Dayton and take on the Flyers at 3 p.m. before a weekend series against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.