May 14, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio - Sophomore John Ely stymied the Ohio University baseball team on Sunday afternoon, limiting the Bobcats (19-25, 11-13) to just three hits in 7.0 innings of work as Miami University won the rubber match of a three-game series, 6-2. Sophomore Evan Armitage went 3-for-3 for the RedHawks (27-23, 14-10 MAC) as Miami moved one step closer to securing a berth in the 2006 Mid-American Conference Tournament.
An unearned run gave Ohio a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning but Miami wasted little time and put a run of its own on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Geoff Orr (Orland Park, Ill.), whose defensive miscue with two outs in the top of the first allowed the run to score, made amends as he laced a double off the wall in left field that scored sophomore Evan Armitage (Milford, Ohio) from second to even the score.
Miami capitalized on an Ohio error and put two runs on the board in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-1 lead. Armitage walked to lead off the frame and moved all the way to third after Brandon Hillier's (Hinsdale, Ill.) groundball to the right side was mishandled, putting runners on second and third with no outs in the inning. Junior Jeff Carroll (Columbus, Ohio) plated the first run of the inning when he laced a single to right that scored Armitage and put Hillier on third. Freshman Jordan Petraitis (Canal Fulton, Ohio) followed with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt that scored Hillier and made it 3-1.
Armitage factored in Miami's next run as he roped a single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, giving the RedHawks a 4-1 lead.
Ohio got that run back in the top of the fifth as Anthony Gressick's two-out single off Ely brought a leadoff walk in to score and cut Miami's lead to 4-2.
Miami added two more in the bottom of the seventh as the RedHawks capitalized on Ohio's fifth error of the afternoon. With runners on first and second Petraitis laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away by the OU third baseman and allowed Orr to score from second while Carroll moved to third and later scored on a wild pitch for a 6-2 Miami lead.
Senior Sam Shorts (Lombard, Ill.) relieved Ely in the top of the eighth after the leadoff batter reached base and proceeded to strikeout the next three Bobcats to squash the scoring threat and preserve Miami's four-run lead. He retired the Bobcats in order in the ninth to end the game.
Ely tossed 7.0 innings and allowed just three hits to improve his record to 7-2 on the season. He fanned seven Bobcats and allowed just one earned run. Yale Silverman was tagged with the loss for Ohio as he allowed four runs in 4.0 innings of work while striking out two RedHawks.
The RedHawks hold at least a two-game lead over Bowling Green, depending on the outcome of the Falcons' game with Buffalo later today, for second place in the MAC East Division. The top two teams in each division receive an automatic berth in the tournament, in addition to teams with the next two best conference winning percentages.
Miami plays its final non-conference game on the season on Tuesday (May 16) at the University of Cincinnati. Sophomore Connor Graham (Bowling Green, Ohio) is slated to start for the RedHawks as they battle the Bearcats for the first time this season.
NOTES: Miami's eight seniors were honored in an on-field ceremony prior to the game ... Matt Long, Sam Shorts, Graham Taylor, Jason Brown, Geoff Orr, Will Reynolds, Jon Franzese and Eric Radley played in their final home contest as RedHawks.