Toledo Splits MAC Series-Opening Doubleheader at Kent State
KENT, OH – Toledo opened Mid-American Conference play by splitting a doubleheader at Kent State on Friday at Schoonover Stadium. The Rockets dropped the opener, 4-1, but recovered with a 5-4 victory in the nightcap against the reigning MAC East Division champion Golden Flashes (10-9, 1-1 MAC). With the split, the Rockets’ record moves to 8-11 overall, 1-1 in the league.
Offensively, sophomore INF Deion Tansel (4-for-7, RS, 2 RBI) paced UT in today’s twinbill with four hits, while senior OF Tyler Grogg (3-for-8, 2 RS, RBI) and junior INF Nate Langhals (3-for-4) had three hits each.
In Game One, host KSU plated all four runs in its first three at-bats against UT senior LHP Wilkinson (1-3). First basemen Cody Koch (3-for-3, 3 RBI) did the bulk of the damage in the early going, contributing a RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the third to give Kent State a lead it would not relinquish.
The only run Toledo was able to muster against a quartet of KSU hurlers came in the eighth inning when sophomore3B John Martillotta scored on a wild pitch. Martillotta reached base on a leadoff single.
Wilkinson was the tough-luck loser for the Midnight Blue & Gold in today’s first contest, surrendering four runs (all earned) on 10 hits with three punchouts in 8.0 innings of work.
The second through fifth batters in Kent State’s lineup – CF Alex Miklos, 3B Justin Wagner, DH Zarley Zalewski and Koch - terrorized Wilkinson all afternoon and accounted for nine hits, three runs scored and four RBI.
On the hill, KSU LHP Eric Lauer (5-1) picked up the triumph, yielding no runs on three hits with seven strikeouts in 5.1 frames.
In Game Two, the Rockets were the team that started hot at the dish and registered one run in both the first and third innings. UT opened the scoring with the aid of a KSU infield throwing error, followed by a run-producing groundout off the bat of sophomore RF Ryan Callahan (0-for-4).
The lead did not last long though, as Kent State recovered with two runs in the fourth and sixth frames to assume a 4-2 advantage. Koch (2-for-3, 2 RS, 2 RBI) put the home team on the board with a two-run home run, before C Tommy Monnot ripped a two-run double to create a two-run bulge, 4-2.
Toledo would not go away and countered with two runs in the seventh to knot the difference at 4-4. With one in the inning, Grogg brought home the first run with a RBI groundout, while Tansel recorded a run-scoring single to draw the teams even.
The Rockets then plated the game-winning tally in the ninth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tansel. With one out in the at-bat, the visitors had three-consecutive hitters reach base to bring Tansel to the plate to produce the contesting-winning hit.
Tansel (3-for-4, RS, 2 RBI) and Langhals (3-for-4) sparked the offensive effort with a game-tying best three hits each, while freshman freshman DH Jacob Britt (2-for-4, 2 RS) and Grogg (2-for-4, 2 RS, RBI) also recorded multi-hit efforts in tonight’s nightcap.
Senior RHP Adam Tyson (2-0) earned the victory in relief, yielding no runs on one hit with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
Freshman RHP Sam Shutes drew the start and allowed four runs (all earned) on nine hits with two punchouts in 5.1 frames in a no-decsion.
Eric Dorsch (0-1) was saddled with the loss, surrendering one run (one earned) on two hits in 1.0 inning of work.
For the home team, Zalewski (3-for-5, 2 RS) and Koch (2-for-3, 2 RS, 2 RBI) led the way with at least two hits each.
The Rockets will wrap up their three-game series against Kent State tomorrow with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore LHP Ross Achter is expected to get the nod on the hill for Toledo.
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