For the majority of day one at the Mid-American Conference baseball tournament, pitching was the story. From Eric Lauer's shut down performance to Keegan Akin to BJ Butler, pitchers on both sides of the win/loss ledger had the headlines with low hits, high strikeouts, and general stalwartness that made MAC offenses look dreadful. The Toledo Rockets and Northern Illinois Huskies put an end to that narrative in the day one nightcap of the tournament in Toledo's 11-7 win.
The Rockets got on the board early and often, scoring 7 runs in the first three innings then watching a NIU offense plow along and cut the lead to one entering the ninth inning. Toledo outhit the Huskies 19-9 and NIU starter William Anderson was only able to last 2.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and seven runs, taking the loss and setting his season record at 5-4.
Steven Calhoun for the Rockets got the win (6-8), going 6 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. After yielding to Luke Schaefer in relief, NIU hung 4 more runs on a monster rally that easily could have turned the tide for the Huskies. Not wanting to be outdone, Toledo hung 4 runs on the board in their half of the ninth to put the game out of reach.
With the win, Toledo advances to play Kent State on Thursday at 8pm while NIU's loss has earned them a date with Eastern Michigan on Thursday at 1pm in an elimination game.