Spartan baseball takes two in road trip
After dropping the series opener on Saturday, 4-2, the Spartans were able to win both games on Sunday, holding the Golden Gophers scoreless in both games. MSU (12-11 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) won the first game 15-0, and the second game 5-0. The 15-0 win in Sunday’s first game snapped a three-game losing streak for MSU.
Pitching was key for MSU on Sunday, with sophomore Justin Alleman and redshirt freshman Cam Vieaux both producing strong outings. Alleman went eight scoreless innings in the front end of Sunday’s doubleheader, only surrendering five hits, and Vieaux went six scoreless innings, giving up only three hits.
The Spartans were led offensively by junior outfielder Jimmy Pickens and junior designated hitter Blaise Salter in the three-game series. Pickens finished the weekend with two hits in each game and a .600 batting average. Salter compiled five hits nd eight RBIs in the three games.
MSU struggled on Saturday to get anything going offensively, generating only six hits in the game. The Spartans fell behind early, but were able to get the game within two runs in the top of the seventh inning. MSU had runners on second and third base in the inning, but freshman second baseman Johnny Nate struck out swinging to end the Spartan scoring threat.
Junior pitcher Mick VanVossen recorded the loss, giving up four earned runs in six innings.
The following day saw better fortune on the diamond for the green and white, starting with a 15-0 thrashing in the first game of the doubleheader. MSU scored all 15 of its runs between the third and eighth innings, including five runs in the fourth and six in the seventh. The Spartans finished with a total of 13 hits from nine different players.
Sophomore outfielder Cam Gibson finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Salter also was an offensive weapon, hitting 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
MSU completed the Sunday sweep in the second game, keeping the Golden Gophers off the scoreboard again.
The Spartans were able to take the lead early on, scoring in four of the first five innings. Salter and senior catcher Joel Fisher each homered in the game.
Spartan pitchers held Minnesota to only four hits in the game.
MSU will return to the field on Tuesday at Eastern Michigan.
Depending on the weather, MSU is scheduled to host Oakland for its home opener on Wednesday and will head to Cooley Law School Stadium on Thursday for the eighth annual Crosstown Showdown exhibition game against the Lansing Lugnuts.