MSU baseball sweeps doubleheader against Central Michigan

MSU won both games of the doubleheader against Central Michigan Tuesday at Theunissen Stadium in Mount Pleasant.

The Spartans held on in the first of two against Central to win the postponed Clash at Comerica, 5-4.

MSU hopes to maintain its momentum from the doubleheader sweep into the Big Ten finale against Penn State this weekend.

Sophomore right fielder Jimmy Pickens had a big Tuesday, Pickens went 3-7 with 5 RBIs in the two wins against Central.

The Spartans (31-16, 10-8 Big Ten) continued the postponed Clash at Comerica from the fifth inning, in which the Spartans had a 1-0 lead.

Following back-to-back two-out singles by Pickens and junior catcher Joel Fisher, sophomore first basemen Ryan Krill brought Pickens in from second to take a 2-1 lead for the Spartans.

Pickens kept it going in the seventh, hitting a three-run double to left field. Sophomore center fielder Anthony Cheky, sophomore shortstop Ryan Richardson and freshman second baseman PJ Nowak scored to add three to the Spartans’ lead, 5-1.

The Chippewas closed the gap to 5-3 after a two-run home run to right field.

Junior Mike Theodore earned his second win of the season, pitching seven innings and giving up six hits and three earned runs.

Trey Popp came in the bottom of the eighth for MSU. Popp earned his second save of the season, giving up three hits and one earned run.

In the second game, MSU beat the Chippewas 10-0.

The Spartans had a big third inning, scoring five runs against Central Michigan.

Justin Hovis doubled to left, scoring Anthony Cheky for the first run of the game. Freshman left fielder Cam Gibson singled to right field scoring Hovis.

The Spartans’ batting average leader, sophomore designated hitter Blaise Salter, hit a three-run home run to left field to take an early 5-0 lead over Central.

MSU wasn’t done playing long ball quite yet. Pickens stayed hot, hitting a two-run home run over right center to take a commanding 9-0 lead.

Junior Chase Rihtarchik had a great outing against the Chippewas, earning his sixth win of the season. Pitching seven innings, he gave up only one hit and no earned runs. Rihtarchik also struck out four while walking only two.

MSU bats were hot against Central, racking up 24 hits in the doubleheader.

The Spartans currently are seventh in the Big Ten behind Michigan and Illinois. The top six teams advance to the Big Ten tournament in Minneapolis.

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