Rockets drop two in weekend series at Oxford
The Rockets traveled to Oxford this weekend where they dropped two of three to the Miami RedHawks.
Toledo (12-14, 3-3 MAC) won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 7-6, which was suspended in the fourth inning Friday due to lightning.
Freshman third basemen Anthony Smith had a career-high four hits to lead the Rockets. Senior second basemen Joe Corfman, senior designated hitter Matt Delewski and senior center fielder Ben Hammer also turned in multi-hit performances.
RedHawk right fielder Bryce Redeker smacked his second home run of the year in the bottom of the first and Miami took an early 2-0 lead.
After Smith led off the UT second with a single, freshman Dan Zuchowski, Delewski, Corfman and Hammer all doubled to put the Rockets in front 4-2.
With the help of a wild pitch, passed ball and fielding error in the third, Toledo tacked on two more runs to grab a 6-2 lead.
UT starting pitcher Michael Hamann, however, ran into big problems in the bottom half of the third. Miami first basemen Kevin Bower belted a three-run homer and Redeker added an RBI single to tie the game before lightning halted play Friday night.
On Saturday, sophomore lefty Ryan Wilkinson took over on the mound for Toledo and pitched five shutout innings, giving up just one hit and struck out four.
“Ryan was outstanding, he came in and really pounded the strike zone,” said UT head coach Cory Mee. “He put a lot of zeros on the board and gave us a chance to figure their guy out and push a run across to get the win.”
With the game still tied 6-6 in the eighth, senior first basemen Mark Lapikas delivered the game-winning hit.
Wilkinson (3-1) picked up the win and freshman Andrew Marra collected his fourth save of the season.
“Our bullpen has been outstanding,” Mee said. “The guys we have coming out of the pen have pitched very well.”
The Rockets dropped the second game of the series 5-3. MU freshman Matt Honchel recorded his first four-hit game and his 12th multi-hit performance.
Miami struck first in the third inning after a sacrifice fly from Bower and a two-RBI single from freshman catcher Max Andresen gave them a 3-0 advantage.
After scoring an unearned run in the sixth, the Rockets tied the game with two runs in the seventh. Sophomore James Miglin drove in a run with a base hit and Miami pitcher Brian Thene threw a wild pitch with a runner on third.
With two outs and the score tied in the bottom of the eighth, Honchel delivered the decisive blow, ripping a double down the left field line to plate a pair.
“We were right there at the end, but they got a big hit when they needed it,” Mee said.
UT starter Matt Kuna had a solid outing, allowing three runs on seven hits over five and two-thirds innings and struck out three.
Senior Tyler Scott took the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the year.
Delewski had a season-high three hits to lead Toledo.
Jared Locke got roughed up in the series finale Sunday as the Rockets fell 11-3. Locke (3-4) lasted just 2.1 innings and gave up six earned runs on eight hits.
The RedHawks scored twice in the first inning on three hits which set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon. Leading 3-0 in the third, Redeker connected for a two-run homer to put Miami in front 5-0. Andresen followed with an RBI double which spelled the end for Locke.
“(Jared) has probably been one of our most consistent starters, he just had a rough outing today,” Mee said. “You have to give a lot of credit to Miami, they really played better than we did in today’s game.”
RedHawk starting pitcher Shawn Marquardt was tough to solve, firing a complete game and surrendering just two earned runs on six hits and struck out five. Honchel collected four more hits and raised his batting average to a sensational .453.
Miglin led UT, going 2-4 with an RBI double. Miglin was one of only five Rockets to enter the hit column.
Toledo returns to the diamond Tuesday to face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m.
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