Three MAC tournament bids remain up for grabs heading into the final weekend of regular-season conference play.
May 17, 2017
Miami RedHawks (21-32, 7-14 MAC) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (15-35, 9-12 MAC)
Thursday, May 17 • 4 p.m.
Friday, May 18 • 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 19 • 1 p.m.
McKie Field at Hayden Park • Oxford, Ohio
Series vs. NIU: Miami leads 37-19-1
Last Meeting: Apr. 2-3, 2016 (MU won series 2-1)
The Miami University baseball team closes regular season play this weekend when it hosts Northern Illinois for a three-game series, beginning on Thursday with a 4 p.m. first pitch. Game two on Friday will also be a 4 p.m. start with the weekend wrapping on Saturday at 1 p.m. Prior to the series finale, six seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony down on the field.
This weekend’s series is a critical one for both sides as each are looking to secure a bid to the MAC Tournament in Avon, Ohio, next week. Kent State, Central Michigan, Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Ohio have already locked up five of the eight bids, leaving three slots left with all six remaining teams still in the hunt. No one specific seed has been secured yet either, so there is a lot to play for at the top of the standings as well this weekend. Seeds are determined by win percentage, regardless of division. A total of five MAC series will be played this weekend with Bowling Green having completed their conference schedule last weekend due to the odd number of teams.
Mid-American Conference Standings
As shown above, Miami currently sits in last place but the Red & White still have much to play for this weekend. They could finish as high as the No. 7 seed but need at least two out of three from the Huskies to even have a chance at making the tournament. Miami is coming off of a series loss at Kent State this past weekend, dropping the first two contests in low-scoring affairs before rebounding to take the series finale, 2-1, in another tight one.
No matter what the ‘Hawks do this weekend, they will need some help from other teams to get in. Below are the known scenarios in which Miami could clinch a berth in the MAC Tournament.
Miami gets in if it sweeps NIU and…
• Buffalo also sweeps
• Buffalo is swept OR wins just one of three at Western Michigan
• Toledo is swept
• Buffalo wins two of three at Western Michigan AND Toledo wins just one of three at Eastern Michigan
Miami gets in if it wins two of three against NIU and…
• Buffalo and Toledo are swept
• Buffalo is swept and Toledo wins just one of three at Eastern Michigan
ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Huskies enter Oxford at 9-12 in conference play and are in need of a win or two to punch their ticket to next week’s tournament. NIU has dropped five of its last six MAC games, including a sweep at the hands of Eastern Michigan this past weekend. The Huskies offense produces 4.3 runs per game while carrying a .250 team batting average. Roderick Bynum’s .304 clip leads the club with Samuel Vega’s .302 mark close behind. The pitching staff has an ERA of 5.15 with opposing hitters batting .282 against them.
SERIES WITH THE HUSKIES: Miami and Northern Illinois have met a total of 57 times with the RedHawks maintaining a 37-19-1 all-time series lead. The two sides last met for a three-game set in DeKalb last season. Miami took the first two games, a pair of shutouts, before the Huskies were able to salvage a victory in the series finale.