The MSU baseball team split four games this weekend at the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, S.C., putting the Spartans at 3-3 overall less than two weeks into the season.
Senior pitcher Andrew Waszak notched a career-high eight strikeouts in his first win of the season, a 4-1 decision against Western Carolina on Friday. After scoring their lone run in the top of the first frame, the Catamounts went on to record seven errors — all of which resulted in unearned runs for the Spartans.
The final three innings were pitched by junior Jeff Kinley, who also set a career-high in strike-outs with seven.
On Friday night MSU blasted Cincinnati, 14-6, behind a season-high 16 hits. Sophomore right fielder Jimmy Pickens went 3-for-5 with three RBIs while sophomore catcher Blaise Salter drove in two runs on three hits.
The Spartans took advantage of three Bearcat errors in the bottom of the fourth inning and never looked back after taking a 5-0 lead.
MSU got out to a 5-0 lead Saturday against Furman through four innings but fell victim to a late comeback and lost to the Paladins, 8-5.
Down 5-2 in the sixth inning, Furman scored five runs to take the lead before adding another in the seventh. Junior designated hitter Joel Fisher’s double in the eighth inning was MSU’s only hit in the game’s final five frames.
Freshman center fielder Cam Gibson got the first start of his career Sunday in an 8-6 loss to Miami (Ohio) to wrap up the weekend.
Gibson scored to give MSU an early one-run lead in the first inning, but the Redhawks countered with seven runs in the next two innings. Junior pitcher Mike Theodore had a rough outing in his first start of the season, giving up six runs in 1 1/3 innings of work.
Down 8-3 to begin the final inning, MSU made it close by scoring three runs but eventually fell short to end the tournament with back-to-back losses.
Sophomore designated hitter Ryan Krill and sophomore shortstop Ryan Richardson paced the Spartans with two hits each.
Next weekend, MSU heads to Clarksville, Tenn., for a three-game series with Austin Peay.