The RedHawks are now tied for first in the Mid-American Conference standings
The Miami University Baseball team (15-9, 4-2 MAC) grabbed the series win against MAC opponent University of Toledo (7-17, 3-3 MAC) after walk-off heroics during Friday and Sunday’s games in Oxford.
The Red and White racked up 12 hits in each of the first two games, and topped it off with 14 in the win Sunday.
“This weekend was big to get our bats going,” said Head Coach Danny Hayden after the game. “Our hitters are feeling more and more confident everyday.”
Catcher Hayden Senger went 9 for 13 in the series (.692) boosting his season total batting average from sub .300 to .328.
Senger felt that working with coaches this week attributed to his success.
“I felt that I was seeing the ball well all weekend,” said the junior kinesiology major. “I made a little adjustment with our hitting coach Justin Dedman… it feels amazing to be hitting this well.”
Miami got the bats rolling early, grabbing seven hits, scoring five through the first five innings.
Miami starting pitcher Spencer Mraz (2-0) was pulled from Friday’s game after giving up two runs in the top of the fourth inning. He ended the outing with two earned runs, three walks, and four strikeouts.
Going into the top of the eighth inning, Miami had a commanding 6-2 before relief pitcher Shane Smith surrendered five runs off five Toledo hits, giving the Rockets a 7-6 lead. The next half inning catcher Hayden Senger tripled down the right field line and scored at the hands of a sacrifice fly by outfielder Dallas Hall.
Catcher Hayden Senger
Freshman Parker Massman ripped a single up the middle to score allowing for first baseman Ross Haffey to round third and cement the victory for the RedHawks, improving to 14-8 on the season.
Toledo mustered out a win in Saturday’s matchup after a pitchers’ duel through the first six innings. Toledo starting pitcher Sam Shutes (5-0) went six frames, giving up 10 hits and fanning eight. The Toledo defense held the ‘Hawk base runners to 3 earned runs. Zach Spears (2-2) matched Shutes with six innings pitched relinquishing seven hits, sitting down six, and walking one Toledo hitter.
With a 4-3 Rockets lead in the bottom of the sixth, catcher Hayden Senger doubled into right center and later scored off an error. With the game tied going into the top of the seventh, Toledo left fielder Brad Boss homered into right field, scoring two. The Rockets added onto their 6-4 lead with two more runs in the top of the ninth and secured the victory.
In the weekend finale, Miami starting pitcher Gus Graham went five and a third innings, giving up four runs. RedHawk batters could only muster three runs to the Rockets’ six through seven innings.
To start the bottom of the eighth, second baseman Will Vogelgesang scored off a double into left field before pinch hitter Mackay Williams took the bases on balls. Outfielder Dallas Hall then rifled a double in leftfield scoring Vogelgesang. Williams later scored off a wild pitch from pitcher Nate Haugh. The ensuing RedHawk, Cal Elvers, hit a sacrifice fly ball scoring Hall and tied the game at six runs apiece.
Toledo threatened to score with a runner on second in the top of the ninth but was left stranded by a series of strikeouts from right-handed pitcher Bailey Martin.
RHP Bailey Martin
Martin and the entire RedHawk bullpen have been prepared in practice for situations similar to Sunday’s outing.
“Coming into the game Coach just told me, ‘Keep us here, give us a chance to win a ballgame,’” said Martin. “My thought process was just to get ahead of every hitter I could, use my off-speed to my advantage and let my defense work for me.”
Skipper Danny Hayden couldn’t have asked for more as Martin got the RedHawks into the final frame with a tie.
All it took was Friday night’s hero Parker Massman to get hit by a pitch before Hayden Senger sent him home on a double into left field.
Coach Hayden believes that his team can help themselves in any situation presented.
“Our team does a really good job at no matter what the situation is, they play the game the same way,” praised Coach Hayden. “It was a lot of guys doing a really good job not trying to do too much but staying within themselves to get the job done.”
The next outing for the Red & White will be a three game home stretch against Bowling Green State University on April 6-8, at McKie Field in Oxford.