May 18, 2007
OXFORD, Ohio--Sophomore Eric Darlage belted a two-RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Miami University's baseball team past the University of Akron on Friday evening, 5-4. The RedHawks scored five unanswered runs en route to the win.
Miami moved to 30-22 overall and 15-9 in Mid-American Conference action, while the Zips dropped to 23-23 overall and 8-15 in league play.
Akron scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. Doug McNulty reached on a single through the left side and then moved to third off a bunt single by John Turk and a throwing error by the Miami pitcher on the play. A groundout by Vince Chiera allowed McNulty to cross home.
The Zips added to their tally in the top of the third inning with a solo home run over the right field fence by Scott Gunn to give Akron a 2-0 lead.
After McNulty was walked and Turk hit a single to first base, the runners were moved to second and third off a sacrifice bunt. Kevin Haas hit a two-RBI single down the leftfield line to double the Akron score, pushing the Zips' lead to 4-0. Junior Matt Erwood entered the game with one out and one runner on base and struck out two straight Zip batters to end the inning.
Miami put its first runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Brandon Hillier was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning for the RedHawks. Senior Jeff Carroll was walked to put runners on first and second. With one out, senior Dan Leonard hit an RBI single through the left side to send Hillier home for the first RedHawk run.
Sophomore Chris Nadeau helped put another run on the board when he hit a single to right center to plate Carroll. Sophomore Blake Chaffee singled up the middle to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout to give the RedHawks two outs, sophomore Josh Hula was hit by a pitch to score Leonard and put the RedHawks within one, 4-3. Junior Evan Armitage hit a ball to left center that looked like it would score more RedHawk runners, but a sliding catch by the left fielder ended the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Nadeau was hit by a pitch and sophomore Ben Eubank pinch ran for Nadeau. Chaffee belted a double down the leftfield line to put RedHawk runners on second and third. Pinch hitting, Darlage blasted a two-RBI single to allow Eubank to score the game-tying run and Chaffee to collect the go-ahead run and give the RedHawks a 5-4 lead and eventual win.
Freshman Reece Asbury picked up the win on the mound for the RedHawks, pitching 0.2 innings to move to 2-3 on the season. Senior Bailey Pratt earned his fifth save of the season, pitching the final 0.1 innings. Pratt moved into a tie for sixth on Miami's single-season save list. Chaffee led Miami at the plate, going 3-for-4 with the game-winning run, while Leonard was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
The RedHawks round out their three-game series with the Zips at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Miami will honor its five seniors playing in their final game at McKie Field at Hayden Park prior to Saturday's game.