Rockets move into first place with sweep over NIUWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With a three game sweep over Northern Illinois, Toledo moved into a first-place tie in the Mid-American Conference West Division following a 4-3 victory over the Huskies on April 22 in DeKalb.
The win moved the Rockets (20-20, 9-6 MAC) back to .500 on the season for the first time in the last 16 games. They are now in a tie for first with Eastern Michigan with 12 league games remaining, including a three-game series between UT and the Eagles to end the regular season.
To get the sweep, Toledo had to get the win with a 10th-inning effort. Although he didn’t come away with a win for his record, junior starter Michael Hamann had an encouraging start after giving up at least six runs in the last four starts. Hamann (1-4, 7.26 ERA) gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits in seven innings against NIU.
Senior reliever Lincoln Rassi, however, was credited with the victory after throwing 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Rassi (2-0) also earned a save the previous day and lowered his ERA to a team-leading 1.99 on the year. Classmate Cody Umbright bridged the gap between the two with 1.1 scoreless innings.
At the plate, freshman left fielder Dan Zuchowski racked up a hit in each of his four at bats, including a two-run home run, his third homer this season. Zuchowski has gone 8 for 9 with a run and 5 RBI in the last two games.
Only two other Rockets recorded a hit against the Huskies: senior center fielder Ben Hammer (2 for 5, RBI) and freshman shortstop Nate Langhals (1 for 3, R, RBI, SB). Hammer’s bunt single in the 10th to score senior second baseman Joe Corfman proved to be the game-winning run.
The Rockets will remain on the road as they play a non-conference game against Youngstown State (4-34) on April 24 at 3 p.m. before returning home to take on Northwest Ohio (29-18) on April 25 at 3 p.m.