AVON, OH – No. 7 seed Toledo staved off elimination with an impressive 5-2 victory over No. 6 seed Bowling Green on Saturday in Mid-American Conference Tournament action at All Pro Freight Stadium. With the win, the Rockets improve to 25-32 on the season.
UT and the Falcons will now take a quick 40-minute break and come back to play another elimination contest at 3:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to tomorrow’s championship game against No. 4 seed Ball State at Noon.
Junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson (7-3) was the hero of the day for the Midnight Blue & Gold, working his team-best sixth complete game of the spring to collect the win. Wilkinson was outstanding on only two days rest and surrendered two runs (all earned) on five hits with four strikeouts. The Munster, IN native was in control all afternoon and at one time retired 13-consecutive batters to help UT snap a five-game losing skid to their arch rivals.
Offensively, the quartet of senior DH Ben Hammer (2-for-4, RBI), senior 1B Matt Delewski (2-for-3, RBI), junior CF Tyler Grogg (2-for-3, 3RS, SB) and freshman RF Ryan Callahan (2-for-4, RS, 2 RBI) led the way with two hits each.
The Falcons (22-29) struck first on a RBI single through the left side off the bat of 3B Logan Walker (1-for-3) in the top of the second. BGSU took advantage of two hits, one walk and one stolen base to grab the early lead.
Toledo countered with one run in the bottom of the second on a run-scoring single down the right-field line off bat of Hammer to draw the teams even at 1-1.
The Rockets then plated one run in the third frame on a two-out single by Delewski to assume a lead they would not surrender. With one out in the inning, UT’s Grogg drew a walk and quickly advanced into scoring position on his squad-best 36th stolen base of the spring. Delewski stepped to the dish and laced a single down the left-field line to bring home the speedy Grogg to collect his 45th RBI on the year.
Toledo continued to put up good at-bat and added to its lead with a run-scoring single by freshman 2B Deion Tansel (1-for-4, RBI) in the fifth to make the score 3-1. The first-year Rocket was credited with a single to left-center field to plate Grogg with his second of three runs scored on the afternoon and ended the day for BGSU RHP Jason Link.
The Midnight Blue & Gold then put the final nail in the coffin with a two-out, two-run single by Callahan in the seventh to make it a four-run difference, 5-1. Toledo benefited from two hits, one walk and one hit by pitch to build an insurmountable lead.
Bowling Green mustered a run in the ninth inning, but it was not enough as Wilkinson closed out the impressive triumph to help Toledo live to play another game.
The Falcons’ Link (1-2) was strapped with the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Catcher Jeremy Shay (2-for-4, RS) paced BGSU with two hits in a losing effort.