Toledo Runs Away From Big Ten Foe Michigan, 6-2

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 04/11/2012
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Senior 1B Mark Lapikas had a game-high three hits at Michigan on Wednesday.

ANN ARBOR, MI - Toledo ran its win streak to three straight games with an impressive 6-2 victory at Michigan on Wednesday under the lights at Ray Fisher Stadium. With the triumph, the Rockets improve to 15-18 overall.

Freshman RHP Alec Schmenk was simply outstanding over a season-high 5.0 innings to collect his first collegiate win, allowing one run on five hits with one punchout. Schmenk threw 53 strikes and 89 total pitches in his third start of the spring to help UT win back-to-back contests against the Wolverines (15-19) over the last two seasons. The Midnight Blue & Gold claimed a 3-1 road victory vs. U of M on April 13, 2011.

Toledo also received quality relief efforts from freshman RHP Andrew Marra, junior RHP Cody Umbright and senior RHP Alex Radon to preserve the resounding road win.

Offensively, senior 1B Mark Lapikas (3-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI) paced the victors with a game-high three hits, while senior RF Jeff Cola (2-for-4), sophomore C James Miglin (2-for-4, RBI) and freshman SS Dan Zuchowski (2-for-3, RS) collected two hits each.

UT broke tonight's game open with four runs on the strength of four hits in the third inning. The visitors sent eight batters to the plate against a pair of U of M pitchers and took advantage of RBI singles by senior DH Matt Delewski and Miglin, as well as sacrifice flies from senior 2B Joe Corfman and senior CF Ben Hammer to establish an lead they would not relinquish.

The Rockets had a golden opportunity to add to their advantage in the fourth frame, but a perfectly executed relay cut down Cola at home plate. The Strongsville, OH native led off the inning with a single and Lapikas followed with a two-base hit to the gap in right-center field. Cola tried to circle the bases, but Michigan's relay from center fielder Patrick Biondi to second baseman John DiLaura onto catcher Cole Martin erased the fourth-year Rocket at the plate.

Michigan finally solved Schmenk with one run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of John Lorenz.

The score remained the same until the eighth frame when Michigan pinch hitter Mike Dolloff received a bases loaded walk from Umbright to collect the RBI. Fortunately for the Rockets, Umbright forced Michigan's cleanup hitter Kyle Crank to pop out to limit the damage.

UT quickly retaliated with a two-run roundtripper by Lapikas to create some more breathing room and make the final difference 6-2.

U of M reliever Kolby Wood was saddled with the loss, yielding three runs on two hits while not recording an out.

Dylan Delaney, DiLaura and Biondi led the Wolverines with two hits each.

The Rockets return this weekend when they host Western Michigan in a three-game series this weekend, April 13-15, at Scott Park. Friday's first pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m., while Saturday's and Sunday's games will start at 1:05 p.m.  - Your Source for Rocket Sports
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