Toledo Downs Arch-Rival Bowling Green in Series Finale, 7-4
UT's effort in avoiding the weekend sweep was aided by the right arm of junior Lincoln Rassi (2-4), who allowed three runs with five strikeouts in a solid 6.1 innings to collect the triumph.
Offensively, Toledo pounded the ball around the field for the second-consecutive day and finished with 15 hits. Junior INF Chris Dudics (4-for-5, 3 RS, HR, 2 RBI) paced the attack with a season-high four hits, while junior OF Ben Hammer (2-for-3, RS, RBI), junior INF Matt Delewski (2-for-5, RBI) and junior INF Joe Corfman (2-for-5, RS) tallied two hits each.
The Rockets wasted little time and scored a run in their initial at-bat on a RBI single by Hammer.
UT then broke the game open with a four spot in the third frame to end the afternoon early for BGSU starter Charles Wooten (2-5). The Midnight Blue & Gold had six-straight batters reach base against the right-handed hurler, including a solo home run by Dudics as well as three-consecutive run-scoring hits from junior DH Mark Lapikas, junior OF Jeff Cola and Delewski to establish a 5-0 lead.
Toledo threatened to add to its advantage in the sixth when it had runners on first and second base with two outs, but Falcons' reliever Ross Gordeman forced a groundout to keep it a five-run difference.
BGSU finally solved Rassi in the seventh inning, scoring three runs on the strength of four hits. The home team received run-scoring singles from Andrew Kubuski and Matt Pitzulo, as well as a sacrifice fly off the bat of Clay Duncan to make it a two-run game, 5-3. The Falcons had an opportunity to close the gap even further against UT freshman LHP Ryan Wilkinson with runners on the corners and only one out, but the Rockets turned a strikeout and throw-out double play to end the inning.
With the momentum clearly in favor of the home team, Toledo needed to put up some more good at-bats in the eighth frame to sway the flow back in its favor and Dudics and sophomore OF Tyler Grogg delivered with RBI hits to reestablish a four-run bulge, 7-3. UT's Corfman led off the inning with a bloop single, before the next two batters recorded outs to bring Dudics to the plate. The Shelby, OH native singled to centerfield to plate Corfman, before Grogg was credited with a two-base hit to score Dudics all the way from first base.
The Falcons were able to muster one run in the ninth off UT senior RHP Matt Zahel, but the Rockets' closer would not allow any further damage and closed out the road victory.
The Rockets will return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 19 when they travel to South Bend, IN to battle Notre Dame. The opening pitch is slated for 5:35 p.m. from Eck Stadium.