Rockets top EMU, stay ahead in chase for titleWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo remained ahead in the race for the Mid-American Conference West Division regular season championship with a 4-3 victory in 12 innings over Eastern Michigan at Scott Park on May 17.
The Rockets (28-25, 17-8 MAC) eliminated EMU from contention for the regular season crown with the win, moving to three games ahead of the Eagles (24-27, 14-11) with just two games remaining. Toledo’s last opponent for the title is Central Michigan (29-26, 16-9), which has won nine straight league games and remains one game back after defeating Western Michigan. Both Toledo and CMU have just two games left in the next two days.
Remaining in the lead for the regular season title, however, was a challenge in the series opener. After going into extra innings, the Eagles took a one-run lead in the 12th inning before freshman right fielder Dan Zuchowski brought home two in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
Zuchowski led the Rockets’ offense, which recorded just five hits in the game, going 1 for 6 with a run and two RBI. Junior center fielder Ben Hammer (1 for 2, RBI) and freshman left fielder Anthony Smith (0 for 3, RBI) each drove home one, and senior second baseman Joe Corfman (0 for 5, R), sophomore third baseman Wes White (0 for 4, R) and freshman shortstop Nate Langhals (1 for 5, R) each crossed the plate once.
Sophomore starter Ryan Wilkinson was unable to grab his eighth win of the year despite giving up just two runs on seven hits in six innings of work, striking out four.
Senior reliever Tyler Scott threw three scoreless frames before giving way to classmate Lincoln Rassi, who allowed one unearned run in 2.2 innings. Junior Cody Umbright (1-0) finished off the game with a perfect 0.1 innings to pick up his first win of the year.
On the season, the trio of Scott, Rassi and Umbright continue to impress. Rassi leads all UT pitchers with a 1.32 ERA, while Scott and Umbright rank second and third with ERAs of 2.08 and 2.12, respectively.
Toledo will face off in the second game of its three-game series beginning at 3 p.m. May 18 against the Eagles. Senior starter Matt Kuna (6-1, 2.78 ERA) will look for his seventh win of the year against EMU starter Steve Weber (7-3, 5.42 ERA).
Tags: Anthony Smith, Ben Hammer, Cody Umbright, Dan Zuchowski, Eastern Michigan, Joe Corfman, Lincoln Rassi, Mid-American Conference, Nate Langhals, Rockets baseball, Ryan Wilkinson, Tyler Scott, Wes White, Zach Davis