Toledo (20-30) will wrap up its non-conference slate on Tuesday, May 13 with a contest at Youngstown State (12-32). Tomorrow’s non-league finale against the Horizon League member Penguins is slated for 5:35 p.m. at Eastwood Field.
The Rockets are coming off a tough weekend which saw them drop two of three contests against Western Michigan at home. UT won the series opener, 1-0, but lost the other two matchups, 3-0 and 6-2.
Individually, senior OF Tyler Grogg batted a team-high .400 (4-for-10) with two runs scored, two walks and one stolen base in the series.
On the mound, UT posted 12-consecutive scoreless innings over the first two games and registered a 2.67 ERA with 14 punchouts.
Head Coach Cory Mee has tabbed sophomore RHP Kyle Slack as tomorrow’s starter on the bump against YSU. Slack has started 11 games this spring, sporting a 3-6 record with a 6.17 ERA. The Edwardsburg, MI native has accumulated 46.2 innings of work, yielding 39 runs (32 earned) on 50 hits with 28 walks and 33 strikeouts.
Youngstown State enters tomorrow’s matchup on the heels of winning two of three games against UIC at home over the weekend. The Penguins, who sport an 6-5 record at home this spring, own a .252 batting average and have scored 205 runs (4.7 rpg) on 370 hits (8.4 hpg) in 44 games. The trio of INF/OF Alex Larivee (46-for-150), INF Brent Gillespie (42-for-150) and Phil Lipari (38-for-138) lead the team with .307, .280 and .275 averages, respectively.
On the hill, RHP Jeremy Quinlan is expected to make his third start of the spring against the Rockets. Quinlan has posted a 0-1 record with 11 strikeouts and a 7.20 ERA in 20.0 innings of work.
Another member of the YSU staff who could see game action tomorrow is RHP Josh North, the younger brother of UT senior OF Jacob North.
Toledo and Youngstown State most recently squared off on April 17, 2013 with UT dropping a 13-4 decision at Scott Park. Former Rocket RHP Jared Locke was saddled with loss, allowing five runs (all earned) on three hits with seven walks and one strikeout in 4.0 innings.
Offensively, senior INF Zack Michael (3-for-4, 2 RS) led the Midnight Blue & Gold with three hits and two runs scored in last spring’s contest. Senior OF Tyler Grogg (2-for-5, 2 RBI), junior C Lucas Sokol (2-for-2) and sophomore OF Ryan Callahan (2-for-4) also contributed multi-hit efforts against a trio of Penguin hurlers.
Following tomorrow’s contest, Toledo will conclude its regular season with a huge three-game series against MAC West Division rival Eastern Michigan on May 15-17 at home. First pitch on Thursday and Friday is slated for 3:05 p.m. at the corner of Hill Ave. and Parkside Blvd., while Saturday’s contest will start at 1:05 p.m.
UT is currently tied for fourth place in the division and tied for ninth in the overall standings with only three contests left. The top three finishers in each division automatically qualify for the double-elimination league tourney, which is slated to start at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, OH on Wednesday, May 21, followed by the two next best teams.