May 7, 2004
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Miami (27-15, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) baseball team dropped its second straight extra-innings decision on Friday afternoon, 4-3, at Bowling Green (24-13, 9-7 MAC) of the West Division. The RedHawks recorded only one hit over the final four innings as BGSU's Josh Stewart knocked home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Unlike last week's outing at Toledo, freshman lefty Keith Weiser (Hamilton, Ohio/Talawanda) got knocked around in the first inning for two runs by the Falcons. Back-to-back doubles by Andy Hudak and Nolan Reimhold plated both runs for BGSU to take a 2-0 lead.
A quirky play in the fourth inning led to Miami's first run of the game, and also ended a possible multi-run rally for the RedHawks. Junior Mike Ferris (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) led of with a single and then after two outs were recorded advanced to second on a single up the middle by freshman Brandon Hillier (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central). A soft single to left field by sophomore Geoff Orr (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) scored Ferris from second to make it 2-1, but when Orr continued on to second base only to see Hillier standing on the bag, BGSU got him in a rundown to get out of the frame.
The RedHawks threatened in the seventh inning when BGSU's Keith Laughlin allowed his first free pass of the game to load the bases with two outs. Junior John Slone (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier), who extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a knock in the first frame, gave Miami a 3-2 lead when he beat out a soft grounder to the shortstop to plate two runs. The Red and White loaded the bases again in the stanza but failed to bring anymore runners home.
The one-run lead was shortlived for the RedHawks as an RBI single by BGSU's Andy Hudak in the bottom half of the seventh tied the game, 3-3. BGSU led off with a walk and sacrificed the runner to second to move him into scoring position. Weiser got the second out of the inning but Hudak ripped a single to center field that plated the tying run.
In the top of the 11th inning Miami almost looked good when Orr hit a lead off double to right-center field. However, the Falcon's second basemen hid the ball in his glove and caught Orr stepping off the base before the pitcher stepped back on to the mound. BGSU reliever Matt Hundley managed to get the next two outs on his own to keep the game tied, 3-3, going into the bottom of the 11th.
The man responsible for hiding the ball, Eric Lawson, led off the bottom of the frame with a single through the left side. After a sacrifice bunt, ground out and intentional walk, Lawson was standing on third with two outs. Designated hitter Josh Stewart delivered with the game-winning hit to right field to lead Lawson to the plate and give BGSU the 4-3 11-inning win.
Hundley, who threw 72 pitches in relief of Laughlin, shut down the RedHawks over the final 4.1 innings for his fourth win of the season. Also pitching well in relief was Reineke for the Red and White, who went 3.1 innings allowing only the game-winning run.
The RedHawks and Bowling Green return to Warren Steller Field tomorrow, May 8, for game two of their series starting at 1 p.m.