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 Toledo Mud Hens

Manning Shows off New Slider in Front of Sellout Crowd

June 15, 2024 - International League (IL)
Toledo Mud Hens News Release

The Mud Hens went into Saturday night's game on a three-game losing streak. That didn't stop the fans from making their way downtown though as Fifth Third Field sold out with 10,300 fans! While the Hens came out strong, their finish wasn't enough to best the Storm Chasers as they fell 7-4.

The Storm Chasers got on the board early. Matt Manning rifled through his arsenal of pitches early, but Omaha would take advantage of having runners on the corners by baiting Dillon Dingler into attempting a pick off at second as Nate Eaton stole home.

"Coming into the year they (Detroit) wanted him (Manning) to throw harder," Tim Federowics said. "He's started to throw a splitter which is really nasty and he's featuring a new slider which has more gyro and more depth than his sweeper. I think his new arsenal is helping to add to these punchouts."

The Hens had their response ready though as Parker Meadows took Austin Cox 413 ft dead center to make it a 1-1 game.

Following Manning's one, two, three second inning, Toledo continued to show their aggressive-approach in the batter's box. A single from Bligh Madris and a walk drawn by Jace Jung setup Andrew Navigato perfectly. Navigato continued his hot streak with a two-RBI double down the left field line to take a 3-1 lead.

Now chasing Toledo's lead, Omaha got right back to work to open the third inning. They were able to cut into the Mud Hens' lead as a double by John Rave put Cam Devanney on third and brought Eaton to the plate. Eaton would take one of Manning's fastballs deep into right-center field, but a catch by Madris limited it to a sac-fly.

The Storm Chasers would eventually catch up with the Hens in the bottom of the fifth. Devanney hit a well-placed double down the left-field line to score Tyler Gentry from first base. Omaha then took the lead following two strikeouts from Manning as a Devin Mann base hit would bring in Devanney.

That would conclude Manning's time on the mound as he finished with seven strikeouts. Lefty Lael Lockhart would piggyback off of Manning to begin the sixth inning. He got off to a strong start with two strikeouts to open the inning, but things would take an unfortunate turn from there. Gentry doubled on a fastball down the middle and then scored thanks to a Devanney single to make it a 5-3 game.

From there Lockhart and the Hens would recover in the seventh with a three-batter inning that featured two strikeouts and a throw out by Dingler.

At the plate though, Toledo's aggressive approach was starting to hurt them. After Omaha took the lead in the top of the sixth and William Pennington took over for Anthony Simonelli, the Hens would only see two baserunners in the sixth and seventh innings.

"We did a nice job early," Federowics said. "I think they noticed how aggressive we were later in the game and countered that with some breaking balls just out of the zone."

Lockhart, a usual starter, would allow the Storm Chasers to extend their lead with a solo shot from Brian O'Keefe.

The Mud Hens began to claw their way back in the bottom of the eighth as Tyler Duffey took the mound. Dingler got things started with a single, which was his first hit following the end of his fifteen-game streak. He then took third as Ryan Vilade belted a double into right-center. Toledo finished the inning trailing 6-4 after Dingler scored on a Madris groundout.

The final inning of the game would see Easton Lucas take the mound for the Hens. Omaha was able to extend their lead with an RBI single from CJ Alexander that allowed Devanney to score from second.

Downtown Toledo erupted as Fifth Third Field flashed the rally lights. The sellout crowd caused a commotion for closer Evan Sisk, but he persevered as the Mud Hens officially fell 7-4.

The Hens will look to break their four-game skid Sunday in the series finale with Omaha at 2:05 p.m.


Parker Meadows (2-5, HR, RBI, R)

Matt Manning (L, 5 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 7 K, 0 HR)

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