Toledo Routs Notre Dame to Snap Series-Losing Skid, 15-3
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo obliterated a 19-game losing skid to Notre Dame with a convincing 15-3 victory on Tuesday at Scott Park. The Rockets’ last win against the Fighting Irish (22-16) came on April 2, 1977. With today’s impressive triumph, UT improves to 15-24 on the season.
The Midnight Blue & Gold dominated all facets of the non-league matchup to record its third victory in its last four contests. Toledo scored multiple runs in five different innings, pounded out 14 hits against five UND hurlers, blasted a season-high four home runs, received good starting and relief pitching and turned two clutch double plays.
Offensively, the trio of senior CF Ben Hammer (4-for-4, 4 RS, 2 HR, 5 RBI), freshman LF Ryan Callahan (3-for-5, 3 RS, 2 RBI) and junior LF Tyler Grogg (2-for-4, 2 RS, RBI) did a bulk of the damage, combining for nine hits, nine runs scored and eight RBI. Sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-5, 2 RS) also tallied a multi-hit effort in the offensive explosion. In total, seven of UT’s nine starters recorded a hit in the lopsided affair. The 2012 Mid-American Conference West Division champions came into today’s game with six home runs total through the first 38 games.
On the mound, senior RHP Jared Locke (2-4) was superb over the opening 6.0 frames, allowing only one run (one earned) on six hits with one punchout to record the victory.
Sophomore RHP Andrew Marra came on in relief and was equally as effective over the final 3.0 innings to register his first save of the spring.
Toledo wasted little time in jumping all over Notre Dame RHP Matt Ternowchek (4-3) in the first inning, taking advantage of a three-run home run by Hammer. The fifth-year Rocket turned on the first offering from Ternowchek and blasted it off over the wall in right-center field for the first of his collegiate-best two roundtrippers on the afternoon.
UT added to its lead with two tallies in the third frame to make the score 5-0. The Rockets received a run-scoring single by senior 1B Matt Delewski (1-for-5, RBI) and a sacrifice fly from freshman DH Tyler Baar (0-for-4, RBI) against UND RHP Nick McCarty.
Notre Dame put together a serious threat in the fifth inning as the visitors had runners on second and third base with only one out, but UT’s Locke recorded an infield pop out and a groundout to preserve the shutout.
Toledo properly used the momentum from the previous frame and collected solo home runs from junior C James Miglin (1-for-4, RS, HR, RBI) and Hammer to extend the margin to 7-0. Hammer now leads the team with three home runs on the season.
The Fighting Irish finally solved Locke in the sixth inning, stringing together a pair of leadoff hits to break up the blanking. UND received a double from 3B Eric Jagielo (2-for-3, RS) and a RBI single by 1B Trey Mancini (2-for-4, RS, 2 RBI) to make it a six-run difference.
The Rockets were not to be outdone though, plating six runs on the strength of four hits and two Notre Dame miscues to set the score at 13-1 in the bottom of the sixth. The first six UT batters reached base as the Midnight Blue & Gold sent 10 batters to the plate and benefitted from run-scoring hits from Callihan, Grogg and Hammer to essentially put the game out of reach.
UT continued to pour it on offensively and concluded its scoring in the seventh inning on the heels of a two-run blast by junior 2B Zack Michael (1-for-3, 2 RS, HR, 2 RBI). It was the first collegiate home run for the Powell, OH native.
Notre Dame countered with a pair of tallies on RBI hits by PH Blaise Lezynski and Mancini in the eighth frame, but it was too little too late as the Rockets went on to claim the impressive 12-run triumph.
The Fighting Irish was led offensively by LF Conor Biggio (3-for-4) with three hits, while Jagielo and Mancini totaled two hits each.
Toledo will look to keep the momentum rolling tomorrow when it hosts Defiance College at 4:05 p.m. at Scott Park. Freshman RHP Kevin Kline is slated to make his first collegiate start against the Yellow Jackets.
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