Toledo Disposes of Ohio in MAC Opener, 8-5
ATHENS, OH – Toledo opened defense of its Mid-American Conference West Division crown with an 8-5 victory over Ohio (3-17, 0-1 MAC) on Friday under the lights at Bob Wren Stadium. With the win, the Rockets improve to 8-11 on the season.
UT received a solid start from senior LHP Kyle Shaw (2-3) to snap a three-game losing skid in conference openers. Shaw allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits with six punchouts in a season-high 8.0 innings to earn his second victory of the season.
Sophomore RHP Adam Tyson came on in relief of Shaw and worked a scoreless ninth frame to register his first save in 2013.
The Rockets were equally as effective offensively as on the mound against a group of four Ohio hurlers, pounding out 11 hits. The quartet of senior 1B Matt Delewski (2-for-5, RS, RBI), junior 3B Wes White (2-for-5, RS), sophomore DH Anthony Smith (2-for-3, RS) and sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-3, RS, RBI) paced the attack with two hits each.
In addition, junior LF Tyler Grogg (1-for-5, RS) extended his hit streak to a career-best 14 consecutive games with a single in the sixth inning.
Toledo opened the scoring with a pair of tallies in the second frame against the Bobcats’ RHP Jake Miller (1-3). The Rockets took advantage of two hits, an Ohio error, one walk and back-to-back RBI groundouts by Langhals and freshman 2B Deion Tansel (1-for-3, RBI) to stake claim to the early lead.
Ohio was quick to counter with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second inning on the strength of a RBI hit by J.R. Reynolds (1-for-3, RS, RBI), followed by a costly Toledo infield error to draw the teams even at 2-2.
After each squad plated one run in the fifth frame, UT tallied four runs in the sixth frame to assume an advantage it would not surrender. The big hit in the inning was a two-out, three-run blast off the bat of senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-5, RS, 3 RBI) to give the Rockets a 7-3 cushion. It was Hammer’s first round tripper of the spring.
The Rockets tacked on one insurance run in the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit. Toledo was able to capitalize on one walk, one hit by pitch, one Ohio error and one perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to extend its cushion to 8-3.
The Bobcats did not go quietly, though, and took advantage of a two-run double by SS Dan Schmidt in the bottom of the seventh frame, but it was too little too late as the Rockets won their conference opener for the first time since 2009.
Ohio’s Miller was saddled with the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits with one strikeout in 5.1 innings.
Offensively, 2B Nate Squires (2-for-4, 2 RS) and Schmidt (2-for-3, 2 RBI) led the home team with two hits each in a losing effort.
The Rockets and Bobcats will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. Freshman RHP Kyle Slack is slated to start the first contest on the hill, while junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson has been penciled in as the starter in the series finale.
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