The Tides pitching staff issued a season-high 12 walks on the night, eight of which came in the final three innings of the contest when the visitors pulled away.
Pitching to a 4-3 deficit in the 7th inning, Nick Bierbrodt issued three-straight one-out walks before being relieved in favor of Josh Rupe. Ben Guez greeted Rupe with an RBI single. A double-play off the bat off of Clete Thomas got the Portsmouth native out of the inning, but the Tides found themselves in more trouble in the 8th inning.
Rupe started the frame for the home team and immediately served up a ground rule double to Cale Iorg. Following a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Argenis Diaz increased the lead for Toledo with a single up the middle that scored Iorg. Rupe then loaded the bases by walking Jeff Salazar and followed with another walk to Ryen Strieby that scored a run. Rupe’s night ended one batter later when he gave up a two-run single to Scott Thorman.
The night started ominously for the home team as starting pitcher Steve Johnson gave up three runs on four hits in the first inning. The right-hander settled down from there, giving the Tides a chance to tie the game by retiring 14-of-15 batters before surrendering a leadoff single to Thorman in the 6th inning. Johnson followed by walking Clete Thomas and issuing a single to Cale Iorg that loaded the bases. He was pulled from the game in favor of Bierbrodt who promptly allowed the go-ahead run to score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jeff Kunkel.
Johnson (0-4, 6.81) was charged with four runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out six batters but walked four.
The Tides came back from their early deficit by scoring a run in the 2nd inning and two in the 5th inning. Newcomer Robbie Widlansky cracked a two-out RBI double that scored Brandon Snyder in the 2nd inning. Jake Fox then collected an RBI single in the 5th inning ahead of Snyder’s sacrifice fly.
Thad Weber (5-6, 5.61) picked up the win by tossing 6.0 innings and allowing just the three runs. He gave up six hits and struck out one batter while walking three.
The 12 walks issued by the Tides were a season high.
The Tides will host Toledo again Tuesday night at Harbor Park. RH Rick VandenHurk (5-11, 4.74) will take the ball opposite LH Fu-Te Ni (4-0, 3.47). First pitch is set for 7:15.
Gates for the game will open at 5:00 as a pre-game concert featuring “Lost Then Found” will run from 5:15-6:45. The concert is a part of the Tides “All Faith Night” presented by Regent University.