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Miami baseball sweeps Oakland but loses to Wright State before first MAC series of the season

Miami returns home to face their first MAC opponent of the 2024 season in Bowling Green State
Miami returns home to face their first MAC opponent of the 2024 season in Bowling Green State

The Miami RedHawks baseball team demonstrated resilience after a series sweep of the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies, bouncing back to the .500. Despite the weather postponing the RedHawks' anticipated first home game of the season, they hit the road to face the Wright State University Raiders, putting up a strong fight in a close game.

Game 1: 21-7 win

Rarely does one expect to attend a baseball game and see a football score, but that’s what happened in game one between Miami and Oakland. Redshirt junior third baseman Ryland Zaborowski had his first breakout game of the season, smashing three balls over 100 MPH, including two home runs. He went 4-for-6 on the day. 

Junior left fielder Anthony Zarlingo and first-year first baseman Ryan Novak both went 4-for-5 on the day. Zarlingo scored four of the 21 runs himself, and Novak had five RBIs. 

The RedHawks scored six runs in two different innings and had a fantastic performance from redshirt junior Patrick Mastrian IV, who tossed a career-high six innings over the course of 94 pitches. He allowed only two runs on two hits walking three and hitting three batters to help them to victory.

Game 2: 8-6 win

This contest was much closer than the prior one. 

Miami took a 4-0 lead but gave it up by the third. Then, they came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and didn’t look back. 

Miami junior center fielder Zach MacDonald hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot over the center field wall, and junior catcher David Novak hit his second, a three-run blast also to center field.

Peyton Olejnik, a junior pitching transfer from Oklahoma University, pitched 4.2 innings out of the bullpen, a season-high. He allowed five hits and only one run, with three walks and four strikeouts.

Game 3: 17-9 win

With the series victory secured, the RedHawks were looking for their first sweep of the season, and they secured it with another football score outing.

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MacDonald and Zaborowski both went 3-for-4, scoring three runs each and both registering a double. MacDonald hit a triple while Zaborowski crushed his fourth bomb of the year.

Zaborowski was named both the men’s award winner for Miami Athlete of the Week and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Player of the Week for his efforts over the weekend.

Wright State:

The RedHawks weren’t able to keep their winning ways going as they made the trip up north for their game Wednesday against the Raiders and fell 6-5 after a walk-off RBI single by junior catcher Boston Smith.

Redshirt junior shortstop Dillon Baker was the most effective hitter on the day, going 4-for-5 and scoring two of the five Miami runs. Tré Keels hit his first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the top of the second inning, but the Miami pitching staff would give up three home runs to three different Wright State hitters. 

Bowling Green Preview

The RedHawks now have their first MAC series coming up with three at home against Bowling Green State University.

Last season, the series was in Bowling Green, where the RedHawks fell in the first two games of the series and won the last game to prevent a sweep. Despite a 38-44 record away, Miami is 46-19 against the Falcons at home, boding well for the upcoming series. 

Bowling Green enters this matchup with a 2-7 record, with the only two wins coming against Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis. They were picked eighth in the MAC preseason poll with 36 points, behind Miami’s 59.

The Falcons have two players to watch, starting with DJ Newman, a sophomore who plays both as a starting pitcher and an outfielder. He has been a starter for all nine games so far, and he’s the only starter with an OPS above the 1.000 mark (1.109). On the mound, he’s pitched three games, one of which was fantastic, throwing a total of seven innings and not allowing a run, but sandwiched between two below-average starts.

He was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American for his performance last season.

The other player is sophomore infielder Sam Seidel, who is hitting at just above .900, which is still a great place to be on a team that hasn’t been as good as they’d like to be.

If the RedHawks’ offense can find their way back after the unfortunate midweek loss and the top-of-the-rotation and top-of-the-bullpen hurlers can keep improving, they could be looking at a chance to be above .500 for the first time in 2024.