Toledo Pounds Western Michigan in MAC Series Finale, 12-7
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard in four innings and cruised to a 12-7 victory over Western Michigan in Sunday's Mid-American Conference series finale at blustery Scott Park. The Rockets won two of three games against their MAC West Division rival Broncos (16-17, 6-5 MAC) this weekend, improving to 17-19 overall and 6-6 in the league.
UT registered a season high in runs and pounded out its second-highest hit total of the spring versus four WMU hurlers. Senior CF Ben Hammer (4-for-4, 4 RS, 3 RBI) led the offensive onslaught with a career-tying best four hits, a collegiate-high four runs scored and a season-best three RBI, while senior DH Matt Delewski (3-for-5, RS, RBI), sophomore C James Miglin (3-for-5, 3 RS, 3 RBI), junior 3B Wes White (2-for-4, 3 RS, RBI) and freshman LF Anthony Smith (2-for-4, 2 RS) each had multi-hit efforts in the impressive five-run triumph.
On the mound, junior RHP Mike Hamann (1-4) was efficient over the opening 6.1 frames to earn his first victory of the spring. The 2010 second-team All-MAC selection allowed seven runs on eight hits with five punchouts to help Toledo defeat Western Michigan for the eighth time in the last nine meetings, dating back to the 2010 campaign.
UT exploded out of the gates and gave Hamann the early lead with four runs in its opening at-bat. The Midnight Blue & Gold collected four hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Smith and a run-scoring single from Miglin. The Rockets also benefitted from a WMU passed ball with the bases loaded to build the four-run cushion.
Western Michigan plated single tallies in each of the next two innings to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. The visitors took advantage of a RBI groundout by Dan Shutes and a solo home run from Jack Scanlon to make it a two-run difference.
Toledo responded with a RBI double by Delewski in the bottom of the third. The Rockets had a good chance to further add to their advantage as they had runners on first and second base with one out, but WMU LHP Steve Laudicina produced back-to-back punchouts to keep the score at 5-2.
UT continued to pour it on offensively in the fourth inning and received a two-run home run off the bat of Miglin and a RBI single by Hammer to send the Broncos' Laudicina to the showers. The home team also took advantage of a walk and a key WMU error to increase its margin to 8-2.
Western Michigan refused to go quietly, though, and mustered a pair of runs on RBI hits from Patrick Duncan & Nick Bradley to trim the score to 8-4 in top of sixth inning.
Toledo would not let WMU keep its momentum, as Hammer responded with a two-run roundtripper in the bottom of the sixth.
The Broncos put forth one final push in the seventh and made the situation pretty interesting when Scanlon crushed a three-run home run to make the score 10-7, ending the afternoon for UT's Hamann. Fortunately for the Rockets, junior RHP Cody Umbright came on in relief for a second consecutive game and did not allow any further damage in the inning.
Toledo was able to respond one more time in the eighth inning and put the finishing touches on the impressive home victory with a solo home run by White and a bases loaded wild pitch to set the final score at 12-7.
Senior RHP Tyler Scott relieved Umbright in the ninth and worked a flawless frame to preserve the victory.
WMU's Laudicina (3-3) was tagged with the loss, surrendering eight runs (five earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
Scanlon (3-for-4, 3 RS, 4 RBI) led the Broncos with two home runs, three runs scored and a game-high four RBI, while Duncan (3-for-4, 2 RS, RBI) and Bradley (3-for-4, RBI) also had three hits in a losing effort.
The Rockets return to action on Wednesday, April 18 when they host Horizon League foe Wright State. The opening pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m. from Scott Park.
UTRockets.com - Your Source for Rocket Sports
Like Toledo Rockets on Facebook!
Follow the Rockets on Twitter @UTRocketsDotCom