CHARLOTTE, NC - Toledo could not take advantage of an outstanding pitching effort from junior RHP Jared Locke and suffered a 3-2 loss to Charlotte on Sunday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. With the setback, the Rockets fall to 3-3 on the season.
Locke (0-2) was the hard-luck loser in today's series finale, allowing three unearned runs on six hits with a career-tying best five strikeouts in a collegiate-best 7.2 innings. The right-handed hurler faced 35 batters and made 101 pitches in his second start of the season.
Senior 3B Joe Corfman provided UT with its only offense against five Charlotte (5-2) hurlers with a two-run home run in the eighth inning. The Midnight Blue & Gold were limited to a season-low three hits with nine punchouts.
The 49ers' John Hamilton (1-0) was credited with the victory in relief, tossing 1.1 scoreless frames to help the home team win two of three games against Toledo this weekend at home.
Charlotte opened the scoring with a RBI groundout off the bat of Justin Seager in the sixth inning.
Toledo had just one hit through the first 7.1 frames when senior C A.J. DeMarco delivered a single to bring Corfman to the plate. The Richfield, OH native turned on a two-strike pitch and blasted his first round tripper of the season to left field.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they would be unable to sustain the advantage as Charlotte plated two runs in the bottom of the eighth with the aid of an infield error to seize the win.
The 49ers kept the Rockets in check behind a strong relief effort from Chad Rothlin, surrendering no hits with seven strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
Toledo will now begin its spring break trip next weekend in Greenville, SC with a three-game set vs. Furman on Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. From there, Toledo will make its way to the Myrtle Beach area to tangle with the College of Charleston (March 6), Big South power Coastal Carolina (March 9), Big Ten member Ohio State (March 10) and Marist (March 11).