Toledo Takes Down MAC West Division Leader Northern Illinois in Home Finale, 9-2
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo closed out its home schedule with a dominating 9-2 victory against Northern Illinois on Sunday at sunny Scott Park. With the convincing win, the Rockets improve to 19-26 overall, 10-11 in the league.
Junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson (5-3) tossed a third-consecutive complete game and fifth overall this spring to help the reigning MAC West Division champions capture the weekend series against the Huskies (20-26, 14-7 MAC) for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. The Munster, IN native allowed two runs (one earned) on only four hits with one walk and one punchout to collect his team-best fifth win. The third-year Rocket did an excellent job changing speeds and eye level on his pitches all afternoon, retiring the side in order on five occasions.
Offensively, UT pounded out a season-high 16 hits against five NIU hurlers to record its seventh victory in the last 10 games. Every starter tallied a hit, including a team-high three from senior 1B Matt Delewski (3-for-5, RS, RBI) and freshman DH Tyler Baar (3-for-5, RS, RBI). Other Rockets recording multi-hit efforts in the lopsided win were sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-4, RS, RBI), freshman 3B John Martillotta (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and freshman 2B Deion Tansel (2-for-5, RS, RBI). In total, eight different players scored at least one run and collected at least one RBI.
The Rockets exploded out to a big lead in the second inning, posting five runs on the strength of six hits. UT batted around in the frame and strung together five-consecutive run-scoring hits from freshman RF Ryan Callahan (1-for-4, RS, RBI), Langhals, Martillotta, junior CF Tyler Grogg (1-for-4, 2 RS, RBI) and Tansel to grab an advantage it would not give up.
NIU quickly countered with one run in the third on a RBI double by CF Jamison Wells (1-for-4, RBI). The Huskies effort was aided by a Toledo infield throwing error to break up the perfect game and shutout.
The Midnight Blue & Gold recharged their bats in the fifth frame and registered a pair of runs to essentially put the contest out of reach. Junior C James Miglin (1-for-3, RS, RBI) and Baar were credited with back-to-back RBI singles to build a comfortable six-run cushion, 7-1.
The teams then traded runs in the sixth on a RBI single by Northern Illinois RHP Alex Klonowski and a run-scoring hit off the bat of UT’s Delewski to keep a six-run difference, 8-2.
Toledo put the finishing touches on the impressive triumph with a two-out RBI single by Martillotta in the seventh inning to set final tally at 9-2.
NIU’s Klonowski (4-6) was strapped with the loss, yielding seven runs (all earned) on 12 hits with five strikeouts in 5.0 frames.
No Northern Illinois player had more than one hit in today’s series finale, snapping its MAC weekend series five-game win streak.
UT will look to continue its strong play as of late when the Midnight Blue & Gold travels to Wright State on Monday, May 6 for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Nischwitz Stadium. Senior RHP Jared Locke has been penciled in as the tentative starter against the Raiders tomorrow evening.
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