Toledo Falls Behind Early & Loses to Miami in League Matchup, 13-4
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo fell behind early and suffered a 13-3 loss to Miami on Saturday in Mid-American Conference action at blustery Mercy Field. With the setback, the Rockets fall to 10-13 overall, 3-2 in the league.
UT allowed seven runs in the first two innings and could not recover against the RedHawks’ Mac Thoreson (2-3) to even the weekend series at one win each. The Midnight Blue & Gold claimed a 10-2 triumph in yesterday’s series opener.
Freshman RHP Kyle Slack (1-3) was tagged with the loss, yielding seven runs (all earned) on five hits with four walks and one strikeout in 1.1 frames.
Offensively, junior LF Tyler Grogg (2-for-4, RS, RBI) was the only Rocket with more than one hit in today’s middle contest.
Miami’s (11-11, 4-1 MAC) Thoreson kept Toledo off-balance much of the afternoon, giving up three runs (all earned) on six hits to tally his second victory of the spring. The right-handed hurler dominated in the early innings and at one point retired 14 of 15 Toledo batters.
The RedHawks jumped all over UT’s Slack in the opening frame, plating four runs on the strength of three hits and two walks. Six of the first seven batters reached base and the first four came around to score to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. Kevin Bower (4-for-6, 3 RS, 2 RBI), John Crummy (3-for-5, 2 RS, RBI), Ryan Elble (0-for-3, 2 RBI) and Dan Walsh (0-for-4, RBI) were credited with RBI in the opening at-bat.
Miami continued to put up good at-bat in the second frame and registered three additional runs to send UT’s Slack to the shower in his shortest outing of the spring. The visitors pounded out three extra-base hits in the inning and took advantage of run-scoring tallies by Bower, Crummy and Scott Slappey (2-for-6, RS, 3 RBI) to make the margin 7-0. Slack’s previous shortest effort was 4.0 innings vs. Niagara in the Panther Classic on Saturday, March 16.
The scoring subsided for the next two innings until Miami’s Max Andresen (2-for-4, RS, RBI) collected a RBI single to extend the lead to 8-0.
Toledo finally solved Thoreson a little in the sixth frame, stringing together back-to-back hits to break up the shutout. Grogg and senior 1B Matt Delewski (1-for-5) tallied consecutive one-out hits to put a pair of runners in scoring position before senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for- RBI) picked up a run-scoring groundout to cut the deficit to 8-1.
The Rockets seemed to gain confidence at the dish and tallied two more runs in the seventh to make it a five-run contest, 8-3. Toledo brought seven batters to the plate and took advantage of a sacrifice fly by sophomore SS Nate Langhals (1-for-3, RS, RBI) and RBI single by Grogg.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they could not sustain that confidence and momentum, as Miami countered with five runs against sophomore RHP Andrew Marra to build a double-digit cushion, 13-3. Eight of the first nine Miami batters reached base and the first five scored on the strength of six hits to deny Toledo any chance of mounting a comeback.
UT manufactured one run in its final at-bat by freshman PH Tyler Baar to make the final score 13-4.
Six Miami starters recorded multi-hit efforts against four Toledo pitchers, including a game-high four hits off the bat of Kevin Bower. The RedHawks finished with 16 hits, equaling UT’s season high for hits allowed.
The cross-division rivals will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. at Mercy Field. Junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson (2-1, 3.96 ERA, 36.1 IP, 19 K) is expected to get the starting nod on the hill for Toledo.
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