TOLEDO - Win No. 30 is a big enough deal for a college baseball team, but the University of Northwestern Ohio made it bigger by winning its 30th game of the season by beating NCAA Division I foe University of Toledo 3-1 on Tuesday.
"I am so proud of my players, my coaching staff and what we have become as a program," UNOH coach Kory Hartman said. "It's hard to believe that after two short years we are competing with high-level Division I programs. It's a true testimony of their hard work and belief in our system."
Just a week ago, the Racers narrowly lost to another Mid-American Conference opponent, Ball State University.
The Rockets (20-21) took a 1-0 lead after the third inning, but UNOH scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Cesar Loiz hit a one-out single to right center field then he stole second base. Fabian Placencia hit a two-out single to score Loiz to tie the game. Kevin Cyrus followed with another single to score Placencia, and Dylan Brammer singled to plate Ben Schubert, who had reached on a fielding error.
Junior Santos and Austin Park pitched the final three innings to close out the game. Santos threw the seventh inning, allowing one hit and one walk. Park picked up the save, pitching the eighth and ninth innings, giving up only one hit while striking out three batters.
Pichi Torres started the game for the Racers (30-18) and earned the win. The sophomore allowed seven hits and one run over six innings, walking one and striking out five.
"We are playing our best baseball at the very right time," Hartman said. "We have a tough four-game series against a very good Madonna team this weekend. This win cannot become a distraction; we have a long journey ahead and we owe it to our seniors to stay focused and committed."
Brammer had two of the Racers' eight hits. Northwestern Ohio left only four batters stranded on base.
The Racers open their final Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference series of the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday against Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. They return for another doubleheader Sunday against the Crusaders.
UNOH is in fourth place and on the inside for the WHAC five-team playoffs. They are four games out of first place and three games clear of the tie for fifth and sixth place.