Toledo Blanks Texas Southern in Opening Game of LSU Tournament, 1-0
BATON ROUGE, LA – Toledo secured an impressive 1-0 victory against Texas Southern on Friday in the opening game of the LSU Tournament at Alex Box Stadium. With the shutout triumph, the Rockets improve to 2-2 on the season.
A total of four UT pitchers limited the Tigers (2-4) to eight hits to help the Midnight Blue & Gold post their first blanking in 2014. The quartet of senior LHP Ryan Wilkinson, junior RHP Andrew Marra, freshman LHP Steven Calhoun and senior RHP Adam Tyson stymied the TSU offense all afternoon and recorded seven punchouts.
Wilkinson was impressive in his second-straight Fridaystart on the hill, yielding five hits with seven strikeouts, tied for his second-highest collegiate total, over the opening 6.0 frames in a no-decision. The southpaw hurler was around the plate all day and recorded strikes on 60 of 84 pitches.
Marra came on in relief and recorded the next two outs, before giving way to the eventual winning pitcher, Calhoun. The Tipp City, OH native gave up one hit with one punchout in 1.1 innings to record his first collegiate victory.
Tyson then closed out the victory with a perfect ninth frame to register his first save in 2014.
The designated home team in today’s neutral-site contest, Toledo scored the lone run on a passed ball with runners on second and third base and one out in the eighth inning. Sophomore 3B John Martillotta (1-for-4) and senior DH Jacob North (1-for-2) started the rally with back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position on a well-executed double steal. Martillotta then scored the eventual winning run on a miscue by TSU C Andrew Garza on a pitch by Michael Starkey (0-1).
Despite getting charged with the loss, Starkey was quite effective in 7.1 frames, surrendering one run on four hits with seven walks and two strikeouts.
Senior CF Tyler Grogg (1-for-4) and sophomore SS Deion Tansel (1-for-4) collected UT’s other two hits against a pair of TSU pitchers. Grogg added a career-tying best three thefts and is now a perfect 5-of-5 on the season.
The Tigers best chance to score came in the seventh when they had runners on first and third base with two outs. Fortunately for the Rockets, UT’s Calhoun recorded a strikeout to stall the potential rally.
The Rockets return to action tomorrow when they play nationally ranked host LSU at 6:00 p.m. (CT).
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