LOUISVILLE, KY - Toledo claimed its first win of the season with an impressive 3-1 victory over No. 16 Louisville on Friday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium. With the triumph, the Rockets improve to 1-3 on the season.
UT knocked the Cardinals (3-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten on the strength of an outstanding pitching performance by sophomore Mike Hamann (1-0). The right-handed hurler was lights out over 8.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with six punchouts. Hamann kept the talented home team off balance for a majority of the afternoon and faced only 28 batters to record the road victory.
Senior RHP Matt Zahel came on in relief and worked a perfect ninth frame to collect his first save of the season and 17th in his collegiate career.
Toledo jumped on the scoreboard first with an unearned run in the opening frame, taking advantage of a two-out error by the Cardinals. Junior Mark Lapikas led off the game with a single and moved into scoring position on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by classmate Matt Delewski. After an infield groundout advanced Lapikas to third base, he came around to score the game's first run when Louisville's second baseman was charged with a throwing error.
The Cardinals knotted the score in the second frame, but the Midnight Blue & Gold quickly responded with single tallies in the third and fourth innings to make the difference, 3-1.
The Rockets captured the lead for good on a two-out single off the bat of senior Chris Dudics in the third. One inning later, senior Dan Sherwood led off with his second home run of the season to establish a two-run cushion. With today's home run, Sherwood moved into sole possession of second place in school history with 31 career round trippers.
Hamann was in total command on the mound as the game progressed and set down Louisville in order in the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings to maintain the two-run lead, before Zahel pitched a flawless ninth to preserve the impressive road win.
Delewski (2-for-3, RS) paced the Rockets with two hits to record his first multi-hit effort of the season.
Louisville' Matt Koch (1-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing the three runs (two earned) on five hits with three strikeouts in 6.0 frames.
The two teams will continue their three-game series tomorrow beginning at 1:00 p.m.