Locke leads UT to series win over OhioWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior starting pitcher Jared Locke racked up a career-high seven strikeouts as the Rockets won the series finale over Ohio on March 25 at Scott Park.
Locke (3-3, 4.15 ERA) has now won his last three starts and leads the team with 26 strikeouts on the season.
“I’m feeling good and in a groove,” Locke said. “I felt like I was throwing all my pitches well today. I felt like if I got ahead I could punch them out with my offspeed today and it went well.”
“He was outstanding today,” Toledo head coach Cory Mee said. “He pounded the zone and made big pitches when he needed to. He really gave us the chance to win and that’s what we are looking for out of our starters. He did a great job.”
The victory gave UT the series victory over Ohio (10-12, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) in the rubber match of the MAC series opener. The Rockets are now 10-12 on the season with a 2-1 record in league play.
“It was big after dropping the first game to come back and win the series, winning the last two games at home,” Locke said. “It was definitely big to start off the MAC right.”
Freshman third baseman Anthony Smith (2 for 3, 2 R, RBI) had the lone multihit performance for UT and crossed the plate twice. The freshman third baseman has six hits in his last 13 at bats over the past five days. Junior Tyler Grogg (1 for 3, R, RBI) also drove in and scored a run.
“Anthony has been one of the guys that has consistently put up good at bats for us for about a week now,” Mee said. “He has done a really good job and it really makes our lineup tough to pitch to when he is in the No. 6 hole and swinging the bat like he is. If we get more guys feeling good at the plate, I think we can be a good offensive team.”
Ryan Wilkinson pitched 2.2 innings of relief but was relieved by freshman Andrew Marra when the tying run came to the plate in the ninth. Marra got the final out for his third save of the season and second one-out save in two days.
The Rockets will hit the road for the week beginning with a non-league game at Kent State at 3 p.m. March 27.