Toledo Defeats Western Michigan in MAC-Series Finale in Kalamazoo, 8-2
KALAMAZOO, MI – Toledo rode the left arm of junior Ryan Wilkinson to an 8-2 victory over Western Michigan in Sunday’s Mid-American Conference series finale at Hyames Field. With the win, the Rockets improve to 17-24 overall, 8-9 in the league.
The southpaw Wilkinson (4-3) tossed his team-best fourth complete game of the spring to help the 2012 MAC West Division champions capture the weekend series against the Broncos (13-28, 6-12 MAC) for a fifth-straight season. The Munster, IN native allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits with no walks and four punchouts to collect his team-tying best fourth win. The third-year Rocket kept the WMU hitters guessing at the dish all afternoon, as he retired the side in order on three occasions.
Offensively, freshman RF Ryan Callahan (4-for-5, RBI) paced the victorious Rockets with a career-high four hits. The Delta, OH native was simply outstanding against WMU this weekend, hitting a sizzling .600 (9-for-15) with two RBI.
Senior CF Ben Hammer (3-for-4, RS, 4 RBI), junior LF Tyler Grogg (2-for-5, RS, RBI) and freshman 2B Deion Tansel (2-for-4, 2 RS, RBI) also experienced tremendous afternoons at the plate and tallied multi-hit efforts in the six-run triumph. The aforementioned trio comprised the top three in UT’s batting order and did a bulk of the damage, accounting for seven of the team’s 15 hits, four of the eight runs and six of the eight RBI.
WMU LHP Mike Moyer (3-5) was strapped with the setback, allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts in 5.0 frames.
After three scoreless innings, Toledo plated the game’s first run on a two-out, RBI single off the bat of Callahan in the fourth. It proved to be a lead the Midnight Blue & Gold would not relinquish.
The Rockets then blew the series finale open with three runs in the fifth to increase the lead to 4-0. Tansel was credited with a RBI double and Hammer followed with a two-run single to end the afternoon for Western Michigan’s Moyer.
UT continued to pour it on offensively and added an insurance tally with the sixth frame on a RBI single by Grogg to build a 5-0 cushion.
The Broncos countered with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, before Toledo responded with three runs in the eight to make the final score 8-2. The big hit in the eighth was a two-run, two-base hit off the bat of Hammer.
Toledo will take four days off to focus on spring semester exams before returning to the diamond next weekend, May 3-6, with a three-game series vs. Northern Illinois at Scott Park. Friday’s first pitch from the corner of Hill Ave. and Parkside Blvd. is slated for 3:05 p.m.
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