No. 6 Toledo Dominates No. 3 Ohio in First Round of MAC Tournament, 14-4

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 05/20/2009
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Joe Corfman went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI in Toledo's 14-4 victory over Ohio in the opening round of the MAC tourney.

CHILLICOTHE, OH No. 6 Toledo scored runs in six different innings and tallied a 14-4 victory over No. 3 Ohio on Wednesday in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium. The win was the Rockets’ first in the league tourney since 1999 and improved them to 22-29 for the season.


"This was a great team win," Toledo Head Coach Cory Mee said. "We received tremendous contributions from a lot of people, which is nice to see." 


UT pounded out 18 hits in the double-digit triumph, including 14 off first-team all-league hurler Chris Rigo (5-5). Six of Toledo’s nine starters recorded multi-hit efforts, with freshman Joe Corfman (4-for-5, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI) leading the way with a career-high four hits. Sophomores Chris Dudics (3-for-6, 3 R, RBI), Jared Hoying (3-for-6, R, RBI) and Jim Vahalik (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI) added three hits each, while junior Aaron Dudley (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and sophomore Dan Sherwood (2-for-4, R, RBI) had two hits apiece. 


As impressive as UT was at the plate, the Midnight Blue and Gold received an equally outstanding pitching performance from junior RHP Justin Collop (4-7). The Rockets’ No. 1 starter worked 8.0 solid innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts to record the win. Senior LHP Ryan France worked a perfect ninth frame to close out the victory.


"Justin kept an excellent offensive team in check for a majority of the contest," Mee said. "He took the ball and worked an excellent eight innings for us." 


Toledo exploded out of the gates in the first frame on the first of Dudley’s two home runs, a two-run shot over the wall in right-center.


In the second, UT broke the contest open with four runs on the strength of two hits, a hit batsman and one crucial Ohio (28-23) error. The first five Rockets reached base with Vahalik starting the scoring with a solo blast. Krofcheck was credited with the only other RBI in the at-bat, while the other two runs came as a result of an Ohio throwing error.


After the Bobcats got on the scoreboard on the first of Marc Krauss’ two solo home runs, the visitors plated a pair of runs in the fourth to up the lead to 8-1. UT pounded out three singles and took advantage of a RBI single by Dudics, as well as another Ohio miscue to make it a seven-run difference.  


"We got off to a great start and continued to score runs in the early portion of the game," Mee said.  


Toledo kept its foot on the accelerator as the game rolled along, scoring one run in the fifth and three more in the sixth to up the margin 12-1. Sherwood accounted for the single tally in the fifth on a run-scoring hit, while Hoying had a RBI double in the sixth, followed immediately by a two-run home run off the bat of Dudley.


Ohio tried to mount an attack in the late innings and plated solo tallies in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames, but it was not enough as Toledo countered with a two-run home run by Corfman in the ninth to make the final score 14-4.


Krauss, the 2009 MAC Player of the Year, had four of Ohio’s eight hits, while no other player had more than one tally. The Bobcats’ entered the tourney fourth in the league with a .316 team batting average.


Toledo will return to the diamond tomorrow evening at 9:30 p.m. against the winner of this afternoon’s third game between No. 2 Ball State and No. 7 Eastern Michigan. In the first game of the tourney earlier this morning, No. 4 Kent State defeated No. 5 Miami, 6-4.

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