March 31, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio -- After dropping a 7-6 decision in the completion of Friday's suspended game, Miami rebounded later Saturday for a 5-3 victory to pull even in the teams' Mid-American Conference baseball series at McKie Field.
Freshman Matt Honchel, who leads the team with a .417 average, had his first four-hit game, lifing the RedHawks (14-12, 2-3) to the victory. The multi-hit game was the 12th in the outfielder's young career.
Friday's game, which was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to a thunderstorm with the teams tied 6-6, resumed on Saturday, but did not have any fireworks seen the night before. After the offensive outbursts by both teams on Friday, the remaining six innings were a pitchers' battle with the teams combining for one run and eight hits.
Charles Zubrod, who relieved Miami starter Mac Thoreson in the top of the fourth inning just before the storm rolled in, took the ball for the RedHawks when play resumed on Saturday and cruised through four innings, allowing just two hits and three walks through seven. But he began to show signs of fatigue late in the seventh and gave up a double to pinch hitter Jacob North to lead off the eighth.
Matt Rosinski entered the game in place of Zubrod after North's hit and retired the next two batters, but allowed a walk and RBI single before recording the final out and keeping the deficit to one run.
Trailing 7-6, Miami moved runners into scoring position in each of the final two innings, but couldn't tie the score against Toledo's bullpen. The Rockets' Ryan Wilkinson earned the win with Andrew Marra recording the save, while Zubrod (1-2) took the loss for the RedHawks.
In the second game, Honchel was the star, adding two runs batted in and one run to his line.
Starter Brooks Fiala was solid on the mound for the Red & White as he went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts. His counterpart for the Rockets, Matt Kuna, gave up three runs, all earned, in 5.2 innings on seven hits with three strikeouts but neither starter earned a decision.
Miami struck first, taking a 3-0 lead in the third frame when Kevin Bower hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Ryan Curl, who had reached base to lead off the inning on a third strike wild pitch. Max Andresen followed that with a single to center to score Bryce Redeker and Honchel.
Toledo chipped into the Miami lead in the sixth inning with one run on one hit and a RedHawk error before Redeker ended the inning and preserved a two-run lead with a perfect throw from right field to the plate to nail a base runner trying to score from second.
The Rockets eventually did rally to tie Miami in the seventh inning as they chalked up three hits and two runs while RedHawk reliever Brian Thene threw two wild pitches.
The game remained deadlocked at 3-3 until the bottom of the eighth inning, where Honchel proved to be the hero for the RedHawks with a two-out double down the left field line to bring Curl and pinch runner Jordan Shusteric around to score.
Brandon Adkins (3-0), who entered the game for the final out of the eighth and pitched a no-hit ninth, earned the win while Tyler Scott (1-1) took the loss for Toledo.
The teams conclude the weekend series at McKie Field on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.