Miami (30-21, 16-7) and Buffalo (12-35, 2-20) played an impromptu doubleheader on Friday in Oxford, condensing their three-game series into a two-day event The RedHawks were up for the challenge, winning both games: a 4-2 extra-inning thriller, and a dominating 5-2 decision. Seeing as how the games took place in the final home series of the year, it was only proper that the seniors play a key role in the sweep. With the wins, the ‘Hawks have now exceeded last year’s win total of 28.
The RedHawks went ahead early in the first game, getting a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Designated hitter Nate Bowles led off the inning with a double, and after senior shortstop Ryan Kaup singled him over to third base, he was able to score on a double play ball.
Miami’s starter, Mac Thoreson, was in top-notch form, and had only one bad inning against the Bulls. In the top of the fourth, he surrendered a leadoff homer that tied the game at 1-1. Then with two outs, he gave up a double and a single that gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead. But he didn’t make any more mistakes after that, and ended up going nine innings in which he struck out 10 batters without walking a single one.
For most of the day, Miami’s bats were held in check by Buffalo’s Josh Edwards, and it looked like Miami was headed for a hard-luck loss. It wasn’t until the eighth inning that senior catcher Adam Weisenburger mashed a one-out solo home run that knotted the game back up at 2-2. It was his seventh round-tripper of the season.
In the bottom of the 10th, senior secondbaseman Jon Edgington drew a one-out walk before senior thirdbaseman Brad Gschwind stepped to the plate and ended the contest with a dramatic two-run homer for the walk-off win. It was his third homer of the year, and his first-ever walk-off hit. Matt Rosinski (2-2) picked up the win by throwing a shutout 10th inning.
Then in the nightcap, senior starter Tyler Melling (7-2) threw a game just as beautiful as Thoreson’s. He pitched eight innings, striking out 11 men, and allowed just two runs (one earned) while scattering four hits and a single walk. His offense staked him to a 5-0 lead and it wasn’t until the final two frames that the Bulls managed to get to him.
Miami went ahead 1-0 in the second inning again, this time with a two-out RBI single by centerfielder Ryan Brenner that scored leftfielder Marcus Makuch from second base.
The ‘Hawks added to their lead with three runs in the fourth inning. Kaup, Brenner and Edgington loaded the bases with consecutive singles to lead off the inning. Then Gschwind lifted a sac fly that pushed one run in and moved up the other two runners. Senior firstbaseman Kyle Weldon then followed suit with a sac fly into centerfield that was actually deep enough to allow both runners to score. When was the last time you ever heard of that happening!
Miami’s final run of the night came in the seventh inning, after Weldon led off the inning with a triple and Weisenburger brought him home with a sac fly.
The Bulls finally got on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the eighth inning. Then in the ninth, Melling was lifted after allowing a leadoff walk. Brandon Adkins came on to get the last three outs, but not before he allowed the inherited runner to score. But, no harm, no foul, as the ‘Hawks escaped unscathed.
The three-game series will conclude Saturday at noon.
GAME 1 BOX SCORE
GAME 2 BOX SCORE