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Baseball drops four-game home series to Central Michigan

<p>A Miami infielder flips the ball to first base for an out</p>

A Miami infielder flips the ball to first base for an out

Over the course of three days, Hayden Park, home to the Miami University RedHawks, witnessed the visiting Central Michigan University take a 4-0 series sweep over the hosts.

Initially scheduled to begin on Friday, Mar. 18, the series was delayed due to inclement weather, pushing the start date to Saturday, March 19. The series ended on Monday, Mar. 21 with results of 2-0, 5-4, 8-2 and 13-1, all in favor of the Michigan Chippewas.

Saturday

The first match-up was a pitcher’s duel, as no runs were scored until the ninth inning when a Central Michigan infielder smacked a two-run homer and gave the visitors a 2-0 lead and win.

In this game, Miami’s right-handed pitcher Jonathan Brand struck out double digit batters for the third time this season.

Sunday

The first game of Sunday’s doubleheader also endured a deadlock, this time lasting to the fifth inning. Central Michigan earned the first run with a run batted in (RBI) single and the next two with walks while the bases were loaded. The Chippewas closed out the top of the fifth inning with a two-run single, giving themselves a 5-0 lead.

In the bottom of the same inning, the RedHawks also scored from a bases-loaded situation. This time, senior utility player Nick Neibauer drove in junior infielder Brian Zapp with a fielder’s choice.

In the following inning, Miami narrowed the gap from four to two runs. Following a triple to center field, an RBI single to left from graduate infielder William Escala helped redshirt sophomore outfielder Benji Brokemond complete his run. Later, Escala scored another run for the RedHawks upon a sacrifice fly by Zapp.

In the seventh and final inning, Neibauer scored a run on a groundout by senior catcher Cole Andrews to pull Miami within one run, but the first game finished with a 5-4 win for the visiting team.

In the second game, Central Michigan took a two-run lead in the first inning and extended it to three in the top of the third. Then, Zapp reached first with a bunt single, advanced to second on first-year infielder Blake Buzzeo’s groundout and then capitalized on an opposition’s error to score a run.

In the seventh inning, after Central Michigan once again stretched the gap to three runs, Zapp pulled off a right-field homer to cut the lead to 4-2.

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In the subsequent inning, the Chippewas scored four runs to win the game 8-2.

Monday

Miami was the first to get on the board in the final match-up. Redshirt sophomore outfielder JJ Woolwine took first base after a hit by pitch, advanced to third on a Neibauer double and scored on a redshirt junior first baseman Stephen Krause groundout.

In the fourth inning, Central Michigan took the lead for good with a couple of runs. The Chippewas extended the gap with seven runs scored in the sixth inning and four in the seventh, concluding the game in seven innings with a 13-1 win.

The results of this series dropped Miami to fifth in the conference with an overall record of 7-11 and 4-4 in the MAC. Central Michigan rose to 9-8 overall and 5-1 in MAC.

Next, Miami will play away to University of Toledo in a series that begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 25.

@Sennitzer

nguye251@miamioh.edu

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