Toledo Dominates Eastern Michigan in MAC Weekend Series Opener, 4-0
YPSILANTI, MI – Toledo took advantage of a dominating performance from senior LHP Kyle Shaw to claim a 4-0 victory over Eastern Michigan in Thursday’s Mid-American Conference series opener at Oestrike Stadium. With the shutout win, the Rockets improve to 21-30 overall, 12-13 in the league.
Toledo also inched closer to securing a berth in next week’s MAC Tournament for a school-record fifth-straight season and ninth time in program history with the blanking, coupled with Akron and Central Michigan losses. UT can officially wrap up a spot in the postseason tourney with a win in one of its final two games.
Shaw (5-7) went the distance for a second time this spring and fourth time in his collegiate career, allowing only four hits with no walks and four strikeouts to earn the triumph. The southpaw faced the minimum on six occasions this evening and the most EMU batters he faced was five in the second frame. Shaw surrendered two hits in the second and single hits in the fourth and seventh innings for collect his first victory since April 20.
Offensively, UT benefited from a balanced attack as eight starters collected at least one hit against a pair of Eastern Michigan (25-27, 11-14 MAC) hurlers. The league’s top-hitting squad was paced by junior CF Tyler Grogg (2-for-4, RS), junior C James Miglin (2-for-4, RS), sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-3) and sophomore LF Anthony Smith (2-for-4, RS, RBI) with two hits each.
The 2012 MAC West Division champions opened the scoring with two runs in the third inning off Eastern Michigan RHP Brian Hill (6-3). UT plated the eventual game-winning tally on a run-scoring groundout off the bat of freshman RF Ryan Callahan (1-for-5). The Midnight Blue & Gold followed it up with a RBI single by senior DH Ben Hammer (1-for-4, RBI). Hammer appeared in the starting lineup for the first time in the last seven games. The fifth-year senior is still recovering from a right knee injury sustained against Northern Illinois on Saturday, May 4.
The scored remained the same until the sixth when Toledo pushed across two insurance tallies to make the final difference 4-0. UT received a pair of RBI hits from freshman 3B John Martillotta (1-for-4, RBI) and Smith to put the division showdown out of reach.
EMU’s Hill was saddled with the loss, giving up four runs (all earned) on 11 hits with one free pass and no punchouts in 5.1 frames.
The quartet of RF Sam Ott (1-for-4), DH Lee Longo (1-for-4), C Adam Sonabend (1-for-3) and 1B Mitchell McGeein (1-for-3) was credited with the home teams’ hits, snapping their mini three-game win streak.
The Rockets and Eagles will continue to three-game series tomorrow evening with a 6:00 p.m. first pitch. Junior RHP Cameron Palmer (3-5, 62.1 IP, 4.19 ERA) is slated to start of the bump for the visitors.
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