Rocket Baseball struggles on the Road
The University of Toledo baseball team (14-26, 7-8 MAC) struggled on the road this past weekend. The Rockets defeated the Dayton Flyers 11-7 on Wednesday, lost 1-0 to Kent State (24-12, 10-2 MAC) on Friday in 15 innings, lost 3-2 on Saturday and lost 10-1 on Sunday.
UT 11, UD 7
In Toledo’s 11-7 victory over Dayton, UT kept UD from scoring in the first three innings and took advantage of two early Flyer errors. This led to four, netting UT a 4-0 lead. Second-year infielder Riley Campbell singled and reached third base on a failed pickoff attempt. Third-year outfielder Matt Hansen reached base on an error while Campbell scored the first run. Fourth-year designated hitter Josh Cales delivered a two-out RBI single to score Hansen.
Third-year infielder Casey Gose walked in the second inning and advanced to third on a single from third-year outfielder Brad Boss. Campbell scored Gose on a sacrifice bunt. Dalton Bollinger, third-year infielder, doubled in the third inning and scored on fourth-year outfielder Jacob Britt’s RBI single.
Dayton answered in the fourth inning with three runs off first-year right-handed pitcher Joey Prechtel, cutting UT’s lead to 4-3. The Rockets felt the threat and scored six runs to re-extend their lead to 10-3 in the following inning.
Cales hit a home run on an 0-2 count before second-year outfielder Ross Adolph walked and advanced to second base on fourth-year catcher Corey Tipton’s sacrifice bunt. Britt walked as well, and both baserunners advanced on another Flyer error, with Adolph scoring and Britt stopping at third.
The fifth inning continued with Gose’s RBI single to score, making the score 7-3. Boss came to bat and crushed a two-run home run to right field, giving him four home runs on the season. Hansen added to the home runs in the fifth with a solo home run to right field.
The Flyers responded with a run in the sixth inning, but again Toledo would re-extend their lead with another run for a 11-4 lead in the top of the seventh, with a total of 13 hits. Campbell singled and scored on Bollinger’s RBI double. This makes a total of 16 doubles on the season for Bollinger and ranks among the top 20 in the country, per UTRockets.com.
Dayton tacked on two runs in the seventh inning and another in the ninth, but Toledo fought to defeat the Flyers, 11-7. Prechtel (1-2) earned his first collegiate win, pitching four full innings and allowing three runs on two hits and two walks.
KSU 1, UT 0
Friday evening’s 1-0 loss to Kent State was a pitchers’ duel stretching out to 15 innings in the series opener. The Rockets collected 11 hits while fourth-year left-handed pitcher Steven Calhoun threw nine scoreless innings.
The Rockets had an opportunity to score in the sixth inning. First-year infielder Antonio Bennett singled on a bunt and advanced to second on Boss’ sacrifice bunt. Campbell singled to left field, and Bennett advanced to third with one out. Hansen bunted to move Campbell to second, but the baserunners were stranded.
KSU’s closest opportunity to score also came in the sixth inning, but Calhoun continued battling to close out the inning.
Bennett led off the 10th inning with a single, but the Golden Flash double play stopped the Rocket threat. Second-year right handed pitcher Luke Schaefer relieved Calhoun in the 10th and continued the shutout for the next three innings.
Cales led with a walk, and first-year Michael Ryan bunted for a single two innings later. The Rocket threat went sour after Cales and Ryan reached base.
In the 14th, third-year outfielder AJ Montoya singled and Cales was hit by a pitch with one out. Again, another double play ended the Rocket threat. Cales pitched a shutout inning to continue to the 15th inning.
Kent State walked to start the final inning and stole a base, putting a runner in scoring position with no outs. Cales struck out the following batter, but a chopper hit to shortstop found its way to center field to give KSU the extra-inning 1-0 victory.
KSU 3, UT 2
Saturday afternoon was quiet until the seventh inning, when the Rockets scored the first two runs of the game. UT would not score again and collected seven hits.
Tipton singled and stole second base with one out. Boss singled and advanced to third on a two-base error, allowing Tipton to score. Campbell hit a straight shot at the shortstop, who couldn’t handle the hit, and Boss scored from third base.
Kent State copied Toledo in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 2-2, and the Rockets fell short of another scoring opportunity in the following inning. Adolph singled, stole second and advanced to third on a catcher throwing error with two outs but was left stranded to end the inning.
The Rockets didn’t score in the final inning, even after Boss advanced to third on a single, giving the Golden Flashes the opportunity to score and win the game. KSU did end up scoring a run in the final inning and took a 3-2 victory over Toledo.
Fifth-year left-handed pitcher Ross Achter pitched six scoreless innings out of eight total, allowing two runs on nine hits and two walks. Achter tied his career-high of 10 strikeouts.
KSU 10, UT 1
UT bats only collected four hits from Adolph, Boss and Campbell. From the four hits, the Rockets ended up with just a run in the fourth inning.
KSU scored a run in the third inning to take the early 1-0 lead. Toledo answered in following inning with a run to tie the game at 1-1. Montoya was hit by a pitch and stole second with one out. Adolph hit an RBI single to score Montoya — the only Rocket run of the game.
The Golden Flashes scored four runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead. An additional five runs were tacked on in the seventh to defeat the Rockets 10-1 on 10 hits in the series finale.
The midnight blue and gold continue with road trips to Michigan State on Wednesday, April 26 at 3:05 p.m. and Louisville from April 28-30. First pitches against the Cardinals are at 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.