Toledo earns first MAC West Championship with win over EMUWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rockets secured the first Mid-American Conference West Division regular season championship in school history on May 18 when they topped Eastern Michigan 5-2 at Scott Park.
Toledo (29-25, 18-8 MAC) eliminated the Eagles (24-28, 14-12) from contention for the title the previous day and went into the game just one game ahead of Central Michigan. A victory over EMU combined with a Chippewas loss, however, clinched the first ever championship for the Rockets.
“Our guys played really well today with a really complete game,” UT head coach Cory Mee said. “It was a big win for us.”
“It’s amazing,” senior starter Matt Kuna said. “It’s what I came here to do when I signed five years ago. Doing that today is just a lot of fun to say that I was a part of it.”
Leading UT to victory was Kuna (7-1, 2.51 ERA) who stifled Eagles hitters all day on his way to earning his team-leading seventh victory of the year. The senior threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five.
“Matt was outstanding,” Mee said. “He did exactly what he does, filling the strike zone up, and really puts the pressure on the hitters. I just love the way he pitches, and I think our guys love playing behind him, too.”
With a 5-0 lead going into the ninth, the game got a bit more interesting as Eastern Michigan got to senior reliever Alex Radon, who left the game, giving up two runs in 1.1 innings. Junior Cody Umbright, however, sealed the contest, getting the next two batters out to secure the title for Toledo.
At the plate, junior designated hitter Matt Delewski went 2 for 4 while crossing the plate twice and driving in one. Freshman shortstop Nate Langhals (1 for 2, 2 RBI) drove home a team-high two runs while senior second baseman Joe Corfman (2 for 4, RBI) and sophomore catcher James Miglin (2 for 4, R) each recorded a pair of hits.
With the title secured, the Rockets will finish off the three-game series against EMU looking for the sweep at 1 p.m. May 19. Junior starter Mike Hamann (2-5, 6.08 ERA) will take the mound looking to bring Toledo its sixth straight conference victory.