The RedHawks (26-18, 13-5) had some great pitching on their side over the course of the weekend, earning a three-game sweep of visiting conference rival Bowling Green (15-25, 8-10) and extending their winning streak to eight games. Mac Thoreson drew up a masterpiece on Friday, throwing the first complete game shutout by a RedHawk this season in a 1-0 victory. Then the ‘Hawks swept a Saturday doubleheader. Tyler Melling earned his team-high sixth win of the year in the opener (a 7-4 decision), and then Brooks Fiala threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in the second game, leading to a clutch 2-1 win.
Thoreson (4-2) only allowed seven baserunners on Friday, striking out four Falcons and walking none. He surrendered five hits and hit two batters. Toward the end he retired 14 consecutive opponents before giving up a one-out single in the ninth inning. The only run of the day came in the second inning, after firstbaseman Kyle Weldon led off with a single, then moved to third on a single by designated hitter Kevin Bower, and scored on a fielder’s choice off of shortstop Ryan Kaup’s bat.
In Saturday’s opener, the ‘Hawks quickly fell behind 1-0 when Melling (6-1) gave up a solo homer to lead off the second inning. But Miami stormed back in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and took control of the game. After thirdbaseman Brad Gschwind and Weldon led off the fourth with singles, Bower allowed Gschwind to score when he grounded out. Then rightfielder Bryce Redeker stepped up and unloaded a two-run homer (his sixth of the year) into left field for a 3-1 lead. In the fifth, Miami loaded the bases with no outs with singles by Kaup, secondbaseman Jon Edgington and centerfielder Ryan Brenner before Gschwind hit a sac fly that plated a run for the ‘Hawks. The icing on the cake in the sixth was courtesy of a bases-loaded groundout by Edgington and then a two-run single by Brenner. The Falcons would hit up Melling and reliever Joe Neff for three runs in the eighth inning, but Sam Dawes came on in the ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Then in the nightcap, Fiala (4-4) and the Miami bullpen held the Falcons scoreless until the eighth inning in a low-scoring pitcher’s duel. The ‘Hawks got to BGSU’s Charlie Wooten in the first inning, when Gschwind doubled with one out, and catcher Adam Weisenburger singled him home one out later. The score would stay that way until the seventh. Leftfielder Marcus Makuch singled with one away, and then pinch-runner Ryan Curl went to third base on a single by Kaup. Edgington brought him home to score on a sac bunt. In the top half of the eighth, the Falcons finally got on the scoreboard when Alex Davison smacked his first homer of the year against Miami reliever Matt Rosinski (who had come on the previous inning). However, Dawes came to the rescue once again, picking up his second save of the day, and seventh of the year.
With the win, the ‘Hawks kept pace with the Golden Flashes of Kent State (30-12, 15-3), who remain two games ahead of Miami in the MAC East. The two teams will meet this coming weekend in Kent in a series matchup that might determine the winner of the division.
BOX SCORE (FRIDAY)
BOX SCORE (SATURDAY GAME 1)
BOX SCORE (SATURDAY GAME 2)