Toledo Takes Outs Valparaiso in Snowbird Classic, 9-8
UT equaled its season high in runs and pounded out a season-high 15 hits to claim the one-run triumph. The Midnight Blue & Gold is now 2-3 in one-run games this season.
Sophomore RHP Alec Schmenk was effective in his first start of the season to earn the victory, allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
Offensively, junior LF Tyler Grogg (3-for-5, 2 RS), senior DH Matt Delewski (3-for-5, RS) and redshirt freshman C Lucas Sokol (3-for-3, 2 RBI) led the slugfest with three hits each. The Rockets also received a multi-hit effort from RF Jacob North (2-for-3, 2 RS, 2 RBI) to post a 1-1 record in the Snowbird Classic. In total, eight starters collected a hit against a quartet of VU hurlers.
After spotting the Crusaders a 2-0 lead in the first inning, UT retaliated with three runs in the second and four in the fifth to assume a 5-1 cushion.
The teams exchanged runs in two of the next three frames to make the difference 9-4 heading into the top of the ninth. Valparaiso then made the situation real interesting by plating four runs in its final at-bat to close the margin to a single run before UT senior LHP Ben Hammer recorded the final outs to preserve the victory.
Valpo's Trevor Haas (0-1) was saddled with the loss, yielding six runs (five earned) on seven hits in 4.0 innings.
Tanner Vavra (2-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI), Elliott Martin (2-for-5, RS, RBI) and Michael Morman (2-for-4, RBI) led the Crusaders with two hits each.
The Rockets will return to the diamond this weekend for a three-game series at Florida Atlantic. UT will play single games on Friday-Sunday, March 8-10 in Boca Raton, FL. Friday's first pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
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