Coming in as one of the four teams in the Mid-American Conference with a 5-7 record in conference play, the Miami RedHawks made some serious headway in the standings with a sweep at Eastern Michigan.
Game 1: Miami won 3-1
Seth Varner (5-2) really held things down for Miami in Friday's 3-1 victory. Going deep into the eight inning, Varner gave up seven hits to the Eagle offense, but did not surrender a run. Walking one while striking out five, Varner out-dueled the opposing starting pitcher in Sterling Sharp. Sharp (1-3) gave up costly doubles in the second and fifth innings to score a pair of runs off the bats of Ryan Elble and Dan Walsh. Scott Slappey also chimed in with an RBI single of his own in the sixth to bring Gary Russo across to score.
Sharp gave up three runs through seven innings with eight hits against him. He also walked two batters, but did not record a strikeout.
Game 2: Miami won 8-2
Steve Sada really had himself a day at the plate in this one. Batting 4-for-5 at the leadoff spot was more than enough to outhit the entire EMU team (3) and put a surge into the RedHawk offense. Sada had an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI triple in the eighth innings, and would later score in the eighth off of a Walsh RBI groundout.
Nathan Williams (3-5) tossed a 7-inning one-hitter on the hill for Miami. The lone hit was given up to team captain Sam Ott, who had already walked in both of his previous plate appearances. Ryan Lavoie (2-3) started for Eastern Michigan, but gave up eight hits in his 4.2 innings of work. Giving up a pair of earned runs, the bullpen didn't do much else to help the cause as Devon Bronson, Tyler Russell and Sam Delaplane gave up a combined four runs off of eight hits through 4.1 innings.
Game 3: Miami won 9-7
Jake Andrews got the start for Eastern Michigan to try to stop the RedHawks from getting the sweep, but was beat up early and often. And by that, I mean Andrews gave up nine hits in less than three innings before his day was done.
Miami opened up scoring three runs in the first inning, and two more in the third to get to an early 5-0 lead before Andrews was replaced by Paul Schaak.
The Eagles would eventually get on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the seventh with an RBI triple by Dae Bowden and a single by Adam Dennison. Lee Longo's third hit of the game would be an RBI single in the eighth to make it a 6-3 game. But three insurance runs in the top of the ninth for Miami would help put the nail in the coffin to complete the sweep on the road.
With the sweep, Miami is now 8-7 in MAC play while Eastern Michigan falls to 2-13. The RedHawks will look to keep the ball rolling at home with a 3-game series against Toledo. The Eagles need to make some noise in these last few weeks of the season with their visions of making the MAC Tournament slipping away. They'll be on the road next week to take on the Ohio Bobcats.