OXFORD, Ohio - For the second straight night, the Miami baseball team overcame a late deficit to earn a win in walk-off fashion, this time a 9-8 victory over Cincinnati in the Joe Nuxhall Classic title game. The RedHawks trailed 5-0 Tuesday evening against Xavier before rallying for a 6-5 win on Hayden Senger's third walk-off hit of the season.
The win Wednesday night against the Bearcats gives Miami the honors of being back-to-back Joe Nuxhall Classic champions.
Down two in the bottom of the ninth, Senger leveled the score at 8-all with a run-scoring double down the left field line. Then, later on in the inning with the bases loaded and one out, Will Vogelgesang hit a high chopper to third, which saw the UC fielder touch third for out number two and throw to first to try to gun down Vogelgesang and send us to extras. However, the speedy Vogelgesang legged out the ground ball to earn Miami yet another walk-off win.
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Both sides came out swinging and the bats were hot early. The Bearcats led off the game with back-to-back solo shots to grab a quick 2-0 lead after just a half an inning of play. However, the Red & White responded with a two-run inning of their own in the bottom half. Ross Haffey got things started with a one-out triple to the gap in right before coming home on a Landon Stephens infield single. Hayden Senger followed with a single before a wild pitch allowed he and Senger to reach second and third base, respectively. After a fielder’s choice erased Stephens at home, Mackay Williams hit a hard ball right at the Bearcat shortstop that he mishandled, allowing Williams to reach safely and Senger to score. The RedHawks totaled two runs on three hits and an error in the frame to knot the contest at 2-all through one.
The second inning was even more productive than the first for Miami. Adrian Texidor walked and Dallas Hall singled to put runners on the corners with one out, which set the table for a Haffey RBI single up the middle. Stephens followed up with a double to deep left that scored Hall and Senger reached on an error that Haffey came home on. Parker Massman closed the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Stephens and pushed the Miami advantage to 6-2.
The Red & White got a single tally in the home half of the third thanks to some hustle from Vogelgesang. He led off by drawing a walk then stole both second and third to set up a Texidor sacrifice fly. The run handed Miami a 7-2 lead.
Over the next four innings the RedHawk offense would go quiet while Cincinnati’s came to life. The Bearcats scored twice in the fifth, once in the sixth and three more times in the seventh to grab an 8-7 advantage, a lead that was spoiled with the RedHawks’ walk-off in the ninth.
After allowing the two solo shots to start the game, Miami starting pitcher Grant Hartwig settled in. The sophomore finished the night with 4.1 innings under his belt with four runs allowed on five hits. He also fanned five Bearcats. Jack Corbell picked up the win in relief after tossing the final 2.2 innings for the ‘Hawks. He allowed no runs, just one hit and struck out three.
Miami is back on the diamond this weekend for three-game series at Ball State. The action gets underway Friday at 3 p.m.