No. 2 seed Toledo sustained a 5-0 setback to No. 7 seed Miami in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Wednesday at All Pro Freight Stadium.
With the loss, the 2012 MAC West Division Champion Rockets (30-26) will play No. 3 seed Central Michigan Thursday at 9 a.m. in an elimination game. The Chippewas dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 6 Eastern Michigan earlier this afternoon.The RedHawks’ Shawn Marquardt (7-5) stymied the UT offense Wednesday afternoon, allowing just five hits with no walks and two strikeouts in a complete-game effort. The Red and White have defeated the Rockets the last two seasons in the opening game of the postseason tourney.
Senior second baseman Joe Corfman (2 for 3) was the only Toledo player to tally a multi-hit effort in a matchup that lasted a little more than two hours.
Senior first baseman Mark Lapikas (1 for 3), senior designated hitter Matt Delewski (1 for 3) and freshman shortstop Nate Langhals (1 for 3) collected the Rockets other hits against the Miami southpaw.
On the mound, sophomore left-handed pitcher Ryan Wilkinson (7-4) was saddled with the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits with two strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
Junior right-handed pitcher Cody Umbright came on in relief and closed out the contest, yielding only one hit over the final 2.2 frames.
The RedHawks (29-27) jumped all over Wilkinson in their first at-bat, scoring two runs on the strength of three hits. The visitors sent six batters to the plate and took advantage of RBI by Kevin Bower and Bryce Redecker to assume a lead they would not relinquish.
In the bottom of the first frame, Corfman doubled down the left-field line to take over sole possession of first place in school history with 54 career two-base hits. Unfortunately for the Rockets, the two-time first-team All-MAC honoree was stranded there as Miami’s Marquadt retired the next three batters.
The RedHawks threatened to add to their lead in the second inning, putting runners at the corners with one out before UT’s Wilkinson recorded a strikeout and a ground out to keep it a two-run game.
The score remained the same until the sixth frame when Miami plated a pair of tallies to make the difference 4-0. The RedHawks pounded out four singles and benefitted from a sacrifice fly off the bat of Max Andresen and a run-scoring single by Ryan Curl.
Miami added to its advantage an inning later with one run to chase UT’s Wilkinson. The Red and White took advantage of a hit by pitch, a walk and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Scott Slappey to build a 5-0 cushion.
The RedHawks’ were paced by Dan Walsh’s three hits, and Bower finished with a pair of hits in a winning effort.