March 23, 2011
By Drew Davis
OXFORD, Ohio - Junior center fielder Ryan Brenner sparked a rally with a bases clearing triple in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Miami to a 6-3 win over Eastern Kentucky in the team's home opener. The RedHawks (9-11) won their third straight game and second straight against the Colonels (6-15).
Freshman lefthander Alex Brown started for the RedHawks and cruised through the first four innings. The Colonels broke open the scoreless pitchers duel in the top of the fifth inning on a wild pitch by Brown that allowed right fielder Michael Garcia to scamper home. An RBI double to left field by left fielder Austin Grisham pushed the EKU lead to 2-0.
Brown, who came into the game with one strikeout on the year in six innings of work over two appearances, left after five innings with a career-high five strikeouts. He surrendered his first two earned runs of the year on four hits and a pair of walks.
Eastern Kentucky, looking for its first road win of the season, tacked on another run in the top of the sixth inning to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Miami answered back in the bottom of the frame when junior right fielder Bryce Redeker singled to center field, scoring Brenner from second to cut the lead to 3-1.
After freshman lefty Seth Varner set the side down in order in the top of the seventh, Miami took control with a four-run inning. Brenner stepped to the plate with two outs and Pat Glass, Brad Gschwind and Jon Edgington filling the bases. The RedHawk center fielder sent relief pitcher Chris Hord's first pitch of the game to the gap in right center to put Miami up 4-3. The RedHawks added to the lead in the same inning when Redeker picked up his fourth hit in as many at-bats with a single to left to score Brenner from third to give Miami the 5-3 lead.
The Red and White wrapped up the scoring with a single by sophomore designated hitter Kevin Bower in the bottom of the eighth that brought Glass, who had stolen second earlier in the inning, in from third base for the 6-3 Miami lead.
Varner picked up the win to move to 1-1 after pitching 1.2 perfect innings with one strikeout. Brandon Adkins picked up his third save by retiring the final two batters of the game. Eastern Kentucky starter Anthony Bazzani took the loss to fall to 0-5.
Redeker finished the game 4-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in and a stolen base, while Gschwind and Brenner had two hits apiece.
Miami opens Mid-American Conference play this weekend against Central Michigan. The series, originally scheduled for Mt. Pleasant, has been moved to Oxford due to winter weather. Games at McKie Field are Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.