Toledo split a doubleheader against Central Michigan on Sunday in Mid-American Conference action at Scott Park. The Rockets (14-24, 6-9 MAC) registered a 4-3 victory in the opener and suffered a 2-1 setback in the nightcap. With the triumph in today's first contest, UT wins the weekend series against the Chippewas (17-21, 6-9 MAC) for the first time since 2009.
Junior C James Miglin (3-for-8, RBI) led the reigning MAC West Division champions with three hits in today's twinbill. Senior 1B Matt Delewski (2-for-6, RS), sophomore DH Anthony Smith (2-for-8, RBI) and sophomore SS Nate Langhals (2-for-6, RS) also enjoyed good efforts at the plate this afternoon, finishing with two hits each.
In Game One, UT junior RHP Cameron Palmer (2-3) was simply outstanding in 8.0 shutout innings, allowing only four hits with a career-high eight strikeouts to earn his second victory of the spring. Palmer did not give up a hit until the fifth when CMU DH Cody Leichman (2-for-4, RBI) tallied a single through the left side.
Offensively, Delewski (2-for-3) paced the victorious Rockets with two hits.
Toledo struck first with a two-out RBI single up the middle by senior CF Ben Hammer (1-for-2, 2 RS, RBI) in the third frame.
The score remained the same until the sixth inning when the Rockets plated a pair of tallies to extend their margin to 3-0. UT received a run-scoring double by Miglin (1-for-4, RBI) and posted the other run with the aid of two CMU infield throwing errors to create some breathing room.
The Rockets wrapped up their scoring with a RBI groundout off the bat of Smith (1-for-4, RBI) in the eighth frame to set the difference at 4-0.
Central Michigan then made things real interesting in the ninth inning against UT sophomore RHP Adam Tyson, tallying three runs on one hit, one walk and one Toledo miscue. The visitors sent six batters to the plate and had the game-tying runner at first base with only one out, but Toledo's Tyson induced a ground ball double play to close out the one-run triumph.
CMU LHP Rick Dodridge (1-4) was saddled with the loss, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
In Game Two, the Chippewas' RHP Taylor Lehnert (2-2) outdueled UT LHP junior Ryan Wilkinson (3-3) to help the Maroon & Gold avoid the weekend sweep.
Lehnert surrendered one run (one earned) on four hits with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings to earn the win, while Wilkinson allowed two runs (two earned) on eight hits with no walks and five punchouts in a complete-game effort to absorb the loss.
CMU LHP Matt Trowbridge came on in relief of Lehnert and recorded the final eight outs to record his team-high eighth save of the season.
Both pitchers cruised through the first four innings before the Chippewas threatened in the fifth. Central Michigan put runners on first and second base with one out, but UT's Wilkinson forced a shallow fly out and an infield ground out to keep the game scoreless.
CMU finally broke the tie with two runs the next frame to take its first lead in the series. The visitors took advantage of three-consecutive singles off Wilkinson and RBI from DH Jordan Adams (0-for-3, RBI) and RF Neal Jacobs (0-for-3, RBI) to make the score 2-0. It proved to be a lead they would not relinquish.
The Rockets countered with one run in the seventh inning on a bases loaded walk by junior RF Jacob North (0-for-3, RBI) to send CMU ‘s Lehnert to the shower. The damage could have been a lot worse as Toledo had the bases loaded with only one out, but Central Michigan's Trowbridge recorded a around-the-horn double play to preserve the one-run lead.
UT's Miglin (2-for-4) and Central Michigan CF Nick Regnier (2-for-4) contributed a game-high two hits each in today's series finale.
The Rockets return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 23 when they travel to Big East member Notre Dame. The first pitch is slated for 5:35 p.m. from Frank Eck Stadium.