MSU too much for Grand Valley
Only six of MSU's 17 hits went for extra bases, but the Spartans efficiently moved runners around the basepaths all afternoon, pounding Grand Valley State, 14-5.
"That's just my coaching style," head coach David Grewe said. "We're going to be a team that really works on being able to hit balls the other way, a good two-strikes approach be able to run and hit, hit and run."
That small-ball mentality appears to be working for the Spartans, who have now amassed 27 runs in their last two games.
"I think that has a lot to do with our success because guys aren't trying to pull off and hit home runs, they're just trying to square up," junior shortstop Troy Krider said.
The win MSU's 11th straight against the Lakers pulls the Spartans' record even at 9-9 heading into Big Ten play this weekend.
"We don't have guys that are going to hit 15, 20 home runs like some teams," senior third baseman Oliver Wolcott said. "But we've got a lot of guys that are just built on clutch hitting being able to hit and run, get your bunts down, coming up with that big two-out hit with guys on second and third. That's how we're going to win games all year."
That's not to say, of course, that the Spartans have completely diverted from the long ball.
Freshman left fielder Kyle Day hit his first career home run a two-run blast to right center in the second inning and finished 4-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBIs. He was a double short of the cycle.
"(Day) definitely stepped up and had a great game," Grewe said. "His leadership by example, I think it spreads."
Senior center fielder Jamey Embree also hit a home run for the Spartans, while senior second baseman Alan Cattrysse drove in three runs.
The Spartans sprinted out of the gate and never trailed. They sent eight batters to the plate in each of the first two innings and batted around in the third.
Day had run-scoring hits in each of those innings a single off the shortstop's leg in the first, his homer in the second and a triple off the centerfield wall in the third.
An RBI triple by Embree later in the third made it 13-3 and forced Lakers coach Steve Lyon to make his third pitching change of the day.
The MSU bullpen took it from there.
Five relievers limited Grand Valley to one run and four hits over the final five innings. Sophomore Chris Cullen (1-0) picked up the win, the first of his career.
MSU resumes play this Friday against Indiana at Oldsmobile Park, kicking off a four-game series with the Hoosiers. Game time Friday is 3 p.m.