When the broom came out, it didn’t just sweep Miami University’s baseball team away. It delivered some punishment as well.
The RedHawks entered the weekend in first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division, but left with a six-game losing streak as visiting Kent State, a 2012 College World Series participant, reeled off three straight wins.
Sunday’s finale didn’t register on the redeeming-value scale for MU, which issued 11 walks, committed four errors and got drubbed 13-2 at McKie Field.
“There’s nothing good to take from that game. Absolutely nothing,” Miami coach Dan Simonds said. “We played horrible. There’s no excuse for that, and we’re all responsible. That was not a product I want to put on the field.
“We’ve had some good weekends, but the expectations are just higher. We’ve got to do some things to get right.”
Kevin Bower and Scott Slappey both had two hits and an RBI for the RedHawks, who fell to 14-18 overall and 7-5 in the MAC. Nate Bowles added a pair of hits.
MU never led and watched the Golden Flashes (17-16, 9-3) put up five runs in the fifth and four more in the seventh to pull away from a 4-2 advantage.
KSU outscored Miami 24-3 over the weekend.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Bowles, a senior catcher from Dayton. “It’s our home field, and we just got swept. But it’s in the past now. In my opinion, we need to come together more as a group, get behind each other and pick each other up.”
Nathan Williams pitched into the fifth inning and took the loss for the RedHawks. He was followed to the mound by Seth Varner, Charles Zubrod, Shane Kriss, Ryan Powers, Brandon Adkins and Wynston McMartin.
Jason Bagoly unloaded a moon-shot home run and collected three RBIs for Kent State, which has clearly recovered from a 1-9 start this season. Derek Toadvine also collected three hits and drove in two runs in support of winning pitcher Casey Wilson, who threw five solid innings despite being under the weather.
“That’s the best weekend we’ve had,” Flashes coach Scott Stricklin said. “Offensively, defensively, on the mound, we really played a complete series. When you get starting pitching like that, you’re going to have success.”
Bower notched Miami’s only extra-base hit, a double in the third. Alex Miklos and T.J. Sutton plated two runs apiece for KSU.
The Flashes managed just one hit in their five-run fifth inning. An infield error with the bases loaded sparked the visitors.
“When you get a double-play ball, you’ve got to turn the double play and keep the game within reach,” Simonds said. “There were some things in our control that we should’ve done a better job at. When you give them extra outs, you’re going to get burned.”
The veteran MU coach said there might be some lineup changes on the horizon.
“I’m certainly going to meet with the staff and talk about it,” Simonds said. “Ultimately, I want to do what’s best for this team. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in this group. I believe in this group. But we’ve got to play better baseball. That’s it. That’s the bottom line.”
The RedHawks will travel to Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday at 3 p.m., then host EKU on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Ball State comes to Oxford for a three-game MAC series starting Friday.
Redshirt likely for Olvey
Curtis Olvey, a freshman infielder for Kent State and a Fairfield High School graduate, was 0 for 8 in three early-season games. He underwent knee surgery last fall and is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday, according to Stricklin.
“He’s still having some complications with it,” said the KSU coach, noting that Olvey likely will be redshirted this year. “We felt like we took it slow and built it up. It’s just one of those things where he doesn’t feel real comfortable going right and left and cutting on it, and you can’t play when you can’t be 100 percent.
“We’re excited about Curtis. He’s going to be a key guy for us down the road. He can really hit. He’s probably a corner guy or DH, but that bat’s going to play. He’s going to have a great career here.”
The Flashes have won 10 of the last 11 games in this series. … Miami left fielder Matt Honchel’s 15-game hitting streak came to an end in Saturday’s 9-0 defeat. … The RedHawks dropped to third place in the MAC East, trailing Kent State and Buffalo (8-4). … MU has just two players hitting over .300, Honchel (.333) and Jake Romano (.313). … The KSU foursome of John Birkbeck, Nick Jensen-Clagg, Dan Kopcak and Josh Pierce combined for four innings of two-hit ball in relief of Wilson on Sunday. … The Flashes have two midweek home games against Niagara before visiting Buffalo next weekend. … Miami right-hander Brooks Fiala, who took a shutout into the eighth inning Friday before losing 2-1, is 4-4 with a 2.98 earned run average.