You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Classes resume Tuesday after West Liberty-Salem HS shooting

Miami finding rhythm on diamond, leads MAC East

The Mid-American Conference baseball season is here, and Miami University is starting to find its collective groove.

The RedHawks are 12-11 overall and lead the MAC East Division with a 5-1 mark heading into tonight’s nonleague contest at Ohio State. MU has a three-game conference series at Akron this weekend.

“It’s good to get off to a decent start,” Miami coach Dan Simonds said. “But you’ve got to talk to me in seven weeks. That’s when it’s going to matter.”

The last six games have been in the MAC, against Eastern Michigan and Toledo, and followed blowout losses to Indiana on March 19-20.

The RedHawks have lifted their team batting average to .282 with six players hitting over .300 — Jake Romano (.381 in six games), Matt Honchel (.365), Ryan Elble (.318), John Crummy (.313), Kevin Bower (.310) and Chad Sedio (.302). Bower and Alex Johnson both have 18 RBIs.

“We just really started hitting three weeks ago,” Simonds said. “At the beginning of the season, our hitting was anemic. It was a little alarming. Now we’re starting to put together more competitive at-bats.”

Honchel has shown no signs of experiencing a sophomore slump. The left fielder is swinging a hot bat in the leadoff position.

“I was concentrating on driving the ball more early in the season, and I was driving it right at people,” said Honchel, a Harrodsburg, Ky., native with six doubles, a triple, 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases. “I’ve kept the same approach, except now they’re starting to fall. That’s how baseball is, a game of inches.

“We have the credentials to become a great team. Some of the most talented teams lose. We have the talent here. Now I think we’re showing the chemistry to come together and win.”

Simonds said MU’s three workhorses on the mound are throwing well. Brooks Fiala is 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA, Nathan Williams is 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA, and Mac Thoreson is 2-3 with a 6.61 ERA. Fiala has 49 strikeouts in 49 innings.

“I would like to see our team ERA under 4.00 (it’s 5.22), but we’ve had a couple really bad games, so I’m not going to put a whole lot of stock in that,” Simonds said. “That said, we’re going to need some guys to step up out of our bullpen.

“It’s been encouraging to see Ryan Powers (1-0, 3.31). I think he’s going to fill that role as a back-end guy, a potential closer.”

The RedHawks have been playing without three key players in recent days. Simonds is hoping to have second baseman Matt Packer (knee), outfielder Romano (knee) and designated hitter Adam Yacek (back) available for action in the next two weeks.

Defensively, Simonds said Miami hasn’t been bad, but needs to be better.

“It’s not so much a lot of errors,” he said. “I just think there’s some plays we’re leaving on the field.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

MLB mourning the loss of Ventura, Marte in separate car crashes in Dominican Republic
MLB mourning the loss of Ventura, Marte in separate car crashes in Dominican Republic

Major League Baseball is mourning the loss of two players: Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former MLB third baseman Andy Marte. Both men were killed in separate car crashes in the Dominican Republic, the Associated Press reported. The fast-throwing, right-handed Ventura was from the Dominican Republic. He was 25. The Royals confirmed...
Springfield lets double-digit lead slip away vs. No. 1 Moeller
Springfield lets double-digit lead slip away vs. No. 1 Moeller

Springfield nearly knocked off the state’s top Division I team on Saturday night but couldn’t hold on to a double-digit lead. The Wildcats built an 11-point lead in the third quarter only to see Moeller rally and capture a 54-51 win. Moeller went on a 19-8 run in the third and fourth quarters to tie the game and then pulled ahead for good...
H.S. Results for 1/21/17: Dunbar’s McConnell stars in road victory

Dunbar’s Caleb McConnell had a night to remember Saturday during a 73-52 boys basketball victory at Toledo Scott. The 6-foot-5 junior scored 28 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out 7 assists for Dunbar (12-2). McConnell also dropped in five 3-point goals. Devon Baker added 14 points, Chris Jackson 12 for the Wolverines, who led, 25-10...
Wrestling: Depleted Graham falls to St. Ed’s
Wrestling: Depleted Graham falls to St. Ed’s

Graham High School wrestling coach Jeff Jordan knew taking down Lakewood St. Edward for the sixth year in a row was going to be tough under normal circumstances. Saturday night at Graham High School, however, was not normal circumstances. Late-week injuries to defending state champs Mitch Moore (132) and Rocky Jordan (152) altered some matchups and...
Raiders, Davis look to keep roll going vs. Oakland
Raiders, Davis look to keep roll going vs. Oakland

When Wright State takes on Oakland today at the Nutter Center, the Raiders will be hoping for a completely different performance from the first time the two teams met when the Grizzlies scored an 81-62 triumph in the Dec. 29 league opener. Fortunately for WSU, it has a player who is experienced in staging completely different...
More Stories