May 23, 2007
YPSILANTI, Mich.--A four-run eighth inning catapulted Miami University's baseball team to an 8-4 win against the No. 3 seed Central Michigan University Chippewas (35-20) in the first game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Oestrike Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The RedHawks (32-22) will face the winner of the No. 2 seed Kent State vs. No. 5 seed Northern Illinois matchup at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24.
Central Michigan put the game's first run on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Ben Humphry singled to lead off the inning for the Chippewas and scored off a Bryan Mitzel double down the left field line to give CMU a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless third inning, Miami evened things up in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Brandon Hillier singled through the right side and then stole second, before senior Jeff Carroll belted an RBI single to left center field to plate Hillier and knot the score, 1-1.
Scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning, Miami took a two-run lead in the game. After junior Chris Niro was hit by a pitch and advanced to third off a ground out and a single by junior Evan Armitage, Niro crossed home off a Hillier single through the left side. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Jordan Petraitis plated Armitage to hand Miami a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Central Michigan came back to tie the game, scoring two runs. With two outs and runners on second and third, Billy Anderson hit a two-RBI single to left center to score Allen Cody and Noah Lankford to even the game, 3-3.
Miami retaliated with a big inning in the eighth. Singles by Carroll and senior Dan Leonard put runners on the corners for the RedHawks. Sophomore Chris Nadeau singled to first base as Carroll crossed home for the go-ahead run. Niro was walked to load the bases with two outs. Sophomore Josh Hula stepped to the plate and belted a three-RBI double to left field, which plated junior Chris Rodriguez--who was pinch running for Leonard--Nadeau and Niro to give the RedHawks a 7-3 lead.
The RedHawks tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth inning when Petraitis crossed home on a double play as Miami increased its lead to 8-3. CMU scored one in the bottom of the ninth inning off an RBI single by Eric Cannon to plate Lankford and make the score 8-4, but back-to-back fly outs ended the game with the RedHawks winning.
Registering six strikeouts over 7.0 innings of work, junior pitcher John Ely moved into second on Miami's career strikeout list. He now owns 284 career strikeouts. Ely improved to 8-3 on the season and picked up his 26th career victory, moving him into a tie for fourth on Miami's career list.
At the plate, Carroll was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Hillier was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Hula went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the RedHawks. Both of his hits were doubles.