Rockets sweep Buffalo

After Easter weekend, the University of Toledo’s baseball team is now 13-23, 7-5 MAC with a five-game winning streak.

The Rockets lost to Notre Dame this past Wednesday 8-3 and swept Buffalo 4-3 on Friday, 21-20 on Saturday and 7-6 on Sunday.

UT vs. ND

The Rockets had a scoring opportunity to start but were unable to take an early lead.

Third-year outfielder Brad Boss started the game with a single, and second-year infielder Riley Campbell bunted to reach base while advancing Boss. Third-year outfielder Matt Hansen moved Boss and Campbell on a sacrifice bunt, but they were left stranded on base.

ND scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run double after loading the bases.

Second-year outfielder Ross Adolph doubled to start the second inning, and first-year infielder Malave Bettinger walked with no outs.

UT was unable to take advantage to score, however, leaving two baserunners stranded again.

Rockets began their comeback the following inning, starting with first-year infielder Antonio Bennett’s walk and another walk from Boss.

Campbell reached base on an error, and Hansen scored Bennett on a sacrifice fly to center field.

UT fought and scored another two runs in the seventh inning, cutting ND’s lead, 4-3.

Bennett singled and scored his second run of the game on Boss’s one-out triple to right-center field. Campbell hit a sacrifice bunt to score Boss.

These were the Rockets’ last runs of the game, with a total of six hits.

Notre Dame responded with an additional four runs to secure their 8-3 victory in the bottom of the seventh on nine hits and an error over the Rockets. Ryan Smoyer, a Bowling Green, Ohio native, was credited with the win for the Irish.

Game 1 vs. Buffalo

The Rockets came up with a run in the first inning after keeping the Bulls from scoring to start the game. Boss was hit by a pitch and advanced to second from Matt Hansen’s single. Third-year infielder Dalton Bollinger scored Boss on his RBI double to right field.

Buffalo tied the score in the third inning with a solo home run, but Toledo bounced back with a solo home run from Bollinger to take back the lead, 2-1.

The game went quiet until the bottom of the seventh, when first-year catcher Michael Ryan and Boss singled. Hansen came up to bat and hit a two-out RBI single to extend the Rocket lead to 3-1.

The Bulls answered the following inning with a run. A walk was dealt and a one-out single threatened the Rockets. An RBI single scored a run to cut the Rocket lead, 3-2, but third-year outfielder AJ Montoya threw out the runner trying to turn the base hit into a double.

Just like the third, another home run was tacked on in the eighth, only this time by Montoya, giving UT a 4-2 lead.

Toledo got into trouble in the final inning with three consecutive walks leading to another Buffalo run. A Bulls fielder’s choice scored the run to trail by one, 4-3, but the Rockets shut them down to secure a victory.

Steven Calhoun (3-2), fourth-year left-handed pitcher, was the starting pitcher and received credit for the win. Michael Jacob, second-year closing pitcher, recorded his sixth save of the season.

Game 2

Saturday’s game took four hours, all in regular regulation. The final score ended up looking like a football score, 21-20, and there were five half innings with no scoring. ***A total of forty-one runs were scored, setting an NCAA record this year so far for the most runs scored in a game. According to Jed Shilling from 88.3 WXUT***

Each member of the Toledo lineup had at least two hits, collecting a total of 22, six of which were for extra bases, including Hansen’s three-run home run.

Hansen had a successful career day, going 3-for-6, scoring four runs and recording a career-high seven RBIs. A UT player hasn’t had seven RBIs since Dan Sherwood’s seven vs. Buffalo on April 10, 2010.

UT scored five runs in the first two innings and 16 more from the fifth to the eighth inning. Buffalo, with a total of 24 hits, scored four runs in the first inning, 13 from the third to the sixth, and a final three in the eighth.

The Rockets were down 13-5 going into the bottom of the fifth before their 16-run scoring spree.

Fourth-year right-handed pitcher Josh Cales, now 1-1, received credit for the win.

Game 3

Buffalo scored a run in the opening inning on a one-out double and an RBI single, but its lead didn’t last long.

Toledo responded with two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Boss singled and was moved to third by Campbell and Hansen. Bollinger came up to bat with two outs and hit his fourth home run of the season, making it his third in the last five games.

The Bulls retook the lead with three runs in the third inning, but the Rockets again answered with a home run, coming from Boss this time, to cut UB’s lead to 4-3.

Buffalo responded with another run in the fourth.

UT tied the score in the sixth inning at 5-5. Campbell walked and Hansen hit a two-run home run clear over the right field wall.

The Rocket team copied its sixth inning scoring drive. Bettinger walked and Ryan hit a two-run home run to center field on the first pitch of his at-bat.

Buffalo pulled within one run in the eighth inning on a walk and an RBI double, but second-year right-handed pitcher Luke Schaefer recorded the last two outs of the eighth and all of the ninth to lead Toledo to a 7-6 victory.

First-year right-handed pitcher Layne Schnitz-Paxton (1-3) received credit for the win and Schaefer recorded his first save of the season.

The midnight blue and gold will head south for a matchup against the University of Dayton Flyers on Wednesday, April 19 at 3 p.m.

UT will head east this coming weekend to take on the Kent State University Golden Flashes for a three-game series with first pitches at 6 p.m. Friday, April 21, 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22 and 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23.