Oxford, OH - The day after wasting a 2-1 lead at Ohio State, the RedHawks pulled out an 8-5 victory over Xavier at McKie Field at Hayden Park with a three-run eighth inning, led by a two-RBI double by freshman infielder Evan Armitage (Milford, Ohio/Milford).
Miami looked to have the game in hand after three innings of play, putting up two runs in the first and one in the third inning and leading 3-1. After Xavier added a run in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to one, Miami answered back as leadoff man Ryne Robinson (Toldeo, Ohio/Central Catholic) drove in a run on a ground out and senior catcher John Slone (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) drove a single into centerfield.
Starting pitcher Matt Long (Granville, Ohio/Granville) cruised through his five innings of work giving up just two runs, one earned, and striking out before turning it over to freshman left-hander Bobby Oberschlake (Felicity, OH/Western Brown).
The RedHawks took a 5-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning, but Oberschlake, who had allowed just three hits over his first two innings of work, struggled, allowing two base knocks to start the inning. Miami bullpen specialist Connor Graham (Bowling Green, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) replaced Oberschlake but continued his own troubles that started the night before at OhioState. Graham proceeded to give up three runs on an error, a wild pitch and a single, to Xavier allowing the Musketeers to tie the score at 5-5.
Looking to avoid another late-inning collapse, the Miami offense came alive in the eighth as Slone singled with one out and Paul Frietch (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) singled with two outs, giving Miami men on first and third with two down. Armitage then proceeded to punch a double into right field, giving the RedHawks the lead back for good. Junior catcher Jon Franzese (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) provided the final run with a single to centerfield to score Armitage.
The win, credited to Graham (5-5), lifted the RedHawks to 35-15 on the season and completed the first half of day-night home-and-away doubleheader for Miami. The save went to senior right-hander Brad Bachman, his first of the year.
The RedHawks complete the doubleheader tonight at WrightState at 6:30 p.m.