Toledo Blanks Ball State in MAC Series Opener, 5-0
TOLEDO, OH - Sophomore LHP Ryan Wilkinson tossed a three-hit gem and led Toledo to a 5-0 shutout victory over Ball State in Friday's Mid-American Conference series opener at sunny Scott Park. With the win, the MAC West Division co-leading Rockets improve to 21-21 overall, 10-6 in the league.
Wilkinson (6-2) went the distance for the first time in his UT career and faced only 29 batters to earn his squad-best sixth victory of the spring. The Munster, IN native kept the Cardinals (11-27, 6-10 MAC) guessing at the dish all afternoon and finished with a collegiate-best nine strikeouts. He retired the opposition in order on five occasions and the most batters he faced in an inning was four in the third and seventh, helping the Rockets pitch their first blanking of the season.
T.J. Weir (2-7) was the hard-luck loser, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits with seven punchouts in 7.0 innings.
The Rockets did a bulk of their damage in the first inning, taking advantage of a balk with a runner on third base and a BSU throwing error on a failed run-down with a runner on third base to register three runs. UT sent seven batters to the plate in its initial at-bat and also received a RBI groundout off the bat of junior 3B Wes White to establish a lead it would not relinquish.
UT added to its advantage the very next frame on a sacrifice fly by freshman RF Dan Zuchowski to make the score 4-0.
Toledo threatened to blow the game open in the sixth inning, as the home team had runners on first and second base with two outs, but BSU's Weir induced a fly out to right field to stall a potential scoring opportunity.
The difference remained the same until the eighth frame when the Midnight Blue & Gold tacked on an insurance run on the strength of a RBI single by freshman SS Nate Langhals to make the final score 5-0.
Senior 2B Joe Corfman was the lone UT player with more than one hit against a pair of BSU hurlers, going 2-for-3 with one run scored and two walks.
The division rivals will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Senior RHP Matt Kuna is slated to take the hill for the Rockets.
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