Toledo scores five late runs to top NIUWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In their series opener at rival Northern Illinois, the Rockets scored five runs in the final two innings to take a 7-3 victory on April 20 in DeKalb.
With the win, Toledo improved to 18-20 on the season with a 7-6 record in Mid-American Conference play, one game back of Eastern Michigan for first place in the MAC West. Northern Illinois dropped to 11-25 with a 5-8 league record, putting them fifth in the West.
Freshman third baseman Anthony Smith came up big again for the Rockets with the game-winning hit in the eighth inning to score senior first baseman Mark Lapikas. Smith was 2 for 4 against the Huskies with two runs batted in, raising his batting average this season to .314, the team’s second-highest total.
Lapikas led Toledo with three hits in his four at bats while scoring twice and driving home a pair. Senior second baseman Joe Corfman racked up a hit in each of his three at bats and had two runs.
Sophomore starter Ryan Wilkinson (5-2, 2.49 ERA) tallied his team-high fifth win of the season after working seven innings allowing three runs (two earned) while striking out a career-high seven batters.
Entering in the eighth inning was senior reliever Lincoln Rassi who pitched two scoreless innings while striking out five to earn his second save of the season.
The Rockets will try and clinch a series victory on the road when they play the Huskies in the second of a three game series at 2:15 p.m. April 21.