Toledo Rallies Past Niagara in Panther Classic, 7-4
UT trailed 4-3 heading into the seventh inning before scoring one run in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to secure its second win in three contests at this weekend's classic.
Sophomore RHP Alec Schmenk (2-0) earned his second triumph of the season, allowing one unearned run on four hits with one strikeout in 3.0 relief frames.
Freshman RHP Caleb Schillace preserved the three-run victory, yielding only three hits in 2.0 scoreless innings to pick up his first collegiate save.
Offensively, junior 3B Wes White (3-for-5, RS) led the Rockets with a game-high three hits. Redshirt freshman C Lucas Sokol (2-for-4, RS, 3 RBI) also enjoyed a good afternoon at the dish, finishing with a game-high three RBI. In total, seven UT starters posted at least one hit against a pair of Purple Eagles pitchers.
Toledo opened the scoring with three runs on the strength of three hits in the fourth frame. The designated visiting team on the scoreboard also benefited from one walk, one passed ball and one hit by pitch to jump out to the early lead. The big hit in the inning was a two-run single off the bat of Sokol.
The Rockets did not hold the lead for very long though, as Niagara plated four runs in the fifth inning to stake claim to a 4-3 advantage. The Purple Aces sent 10 batters to the dish and pounded out three hits against UT freshman RHP Kyle Slack and Schmenk. NU also took benefited from two UT errors, two walks, one balk and one hit by pitch to take over the lead.
UT then knotted the score at 4-4 in the seventh on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-3, RS, RBI).
The very next inning the Midnight Blue & Gold captured the advantage for good with two runs to set the margin at 6-4. Following a leadoff double by junior RF Jacob North (1-for-3, 2 RS) and a well executed sacrifice bunt to advance North to third base, Sokol was credited with a RBI bunt single to be credited with the eventual game-winning hit. Later in the frame, junior LF Tyler Grogg collected a run-scoring single to establish a two-run cushion.
Toledo then finished off the triumph with an insurance tally in the ninth inning to make the final score 7-4. UT plated its final tally with two outs on a bases loaded wild pitch.
UT's Slack was effective in 4.0 frames as the starter in a no-decision, giving up three runs on only two hits with three strikeouts.
Niagara's Kyle Olver (1-3) was saddled with the loss, yielding five runs on six hits with seven walks and four punchouts in 7.0 innings.
Christian Vangeison (2-for-4, RBI), Jordan Schwartz (2-for-4) and Logan Linder (2-for-3, RS) led the Purple Eagles with two hits each.
The Rockets will wrap up the Panther Classic tomorrow against host Pitt at Noon. Junior RHP Cameron Palmer is slated to start on the hill for Toledo.
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