Season ends too soon

Tyler Sworden and Tyler Sworden

The Falcons had high hopes going into last week’s MAC tournament having won five of their previous six and earning the number one seed. Head coach Danny Schmitz emphasized that the team would only go as far as their pitching would take them.

The result, back to back loses for the orange and brown in which the pitching was mediocre but more importantly the offense was missing in action.

Miami defeated the Falcons 17-4 in an elimination game last Thursday. ‘We just didn’t play to are ability,’ Schmitz said.

Falcons came into the tournament ninth in the country in batting average (.348) and 14th in runs scored per game (9.1).

‘The saying goes in baseball good pitching will beat good hitting,’ Schmitz said.

Certainly that was the case as Miami’s Tyler Melling allowed just seven hits and three earned runs in his 124-pitch complete game. It was the first complete game for the Miami pitching staff this season.

Senior Ryan Shay who consistently has been an offensive threat summed up the teams frustration. ‘Welling pitched well and kept us off balance.’

The Falcons held a brief lead in the fourth after junior Logan Meisler hit his fourth home run of the year making it 2-1. However, Miami came right back in the bottom half of the inning to score eight runs on six hits.

‘I just threw some poor pitches and made some mistakes at the wrong times,’ starting pitcher Matt Malewitz said.

Senior Dusty Hawk didn’t fare too well either giving up a grand slam on his first pitch after relieving Malewitz.

In the sixth junior Derek Spencer got two of those runs back with his 15th homer of the season making the score 9-4 but Miami was too much. After rebutting with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, the Red Hawks added five more in the seventh to bring the scoring to an end. Schmitz then emptied the bench giving many reserves a chance gain tournament experience.

Perhaps the Falcons were affected by the fact they only had a few hours to rest after losing their first game to Central Michigan 6-2 earlier in the day. That game was originally scheduled for Wednesday night, however, a raccoon chewed through some power lines causing a blackout with the Chippewa’s up 4-1 in fourth.

‘We have no excuses but it just wasn’t a good flow with all the delays and poor timing the way our schedule worked out,’ Schmitz said.

Due to a high pitch count starter Brennan Smith was relieved by sophomore Charles Wooten when the game reconvened Thursday morning. Wooten had a strong outing only giving up two hits and two runs in five innings. Unfortunately the Falcon bats couldn’t get it going.

Despite the disappointing showing in the tournament the Falcons have a lot to be proud of having won both the MAC East Division and overall league titles two years in a row, a first in the history or the program.

The team also boasts six all-conference players, five who are returning next season, along with the coach of the year and the pitcher of the year.

‘I told the kids having two bad games doesn’t take away from the great season we had,’ Schmitz said. ‘I am very proud of the effort the whole team had all year even through a lot of adversity.’