Spartan baseball defeats Eastern Michigan at home, 12-4
The Spartans picked up a win on a rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon, defeating Eastern Michigan 12-4 at McLane Baseball Stadium.
MSU (26-20 overall, 8-10 Big Ten) tallied seven runs in the seventh inning to pull away from the Swoop, who narrowed the score to 5-4 in the sixth frame.
"Good day at the plate, really, from the get-go," head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "We had a lot of good at-bats, 19 hits. Had a lot of good at-bats and guys were hitting the ball well, feeling comfortable. They did a good job hitting balls hard."
Junior outfielder Jimmy Pickens hit his fourth home run of the season and led MSU with three RBI's and three hits. Sophomore outfielder Cam Gibson added two RBI's.
"We got the first guy on, which is always important, and then we got a lot of quality at-bats together here and there," Pickens said. "One thing fell into another thing, we got a few RBI's and next thing you know we score what was it, eight runs, nine runs? It's good to get the momentum going."
Senior right-hander Chase Rihtarchik pitched 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. The Spartans took a 2-0 lead over Eastern Michigan at the bottom of the second. After not recording a hit in the first inning, Pickens, senior infielder Joel Fisher and junior first baseman Ryan Krill recorded consecutive hits to load the bases.
Richardson scored Pickens at the next at bat, hitting a double as Krill was outed on the play. Johnny Nate proceeded to score Fisher, hitting a single to the left side.
Lee Longo scored Eastern Michigan's first run at the top of the third, batting a deep ball to the left field line that was nearly a foul. John Rubino, who stole second, advanced to home.
A home run by Pickens added two additional Spartan runs in the third. Pickens slammed the ball over the fence at left-center to score Salter.
The Spartans loaded the bases once again at the bottom of the third, but Hovis was struck out looking by EMU RHP Lavoie.
Cheky set up a scoring play in the third. After stealing second and third, Salter singled to score Cheky, extending the lead to 5-1 at the bottom of the fourth.
Rihtarchik was replaced by Mike Mestdagh at the top of the sixth after Rihtarchik walked Sam Ott to load the bases. Rubino took advantage, singling up the middle to score two unearned RBI's and narrowing the score to 5-3.
Longo added another run, hitting a double down the left field line to score Sam Ott, trimming MSU's lead to 5-4.
The Spartans finally responded in the seventh. Richardson hit a line drive single to left field, scoring Pickens to push the lead to 6-4.
Nate scored another RBI, scoring Krill from second base on a single to left field to make the lead 7-4.
Gibson tallied two more RBI's at the bottom of the seventh, making it a lucrative inning for MSU. Gibson singled and advanced to second on the throw, scoring Nate and Richardson. Gibson proceeded to score following a wild pitch, bringing the lead to 10-4.
Salter then doubled to right center to bring the seventh-inning run total to six, scoring Cheky. Pickens brought the total to seven when he scored Connor Mohr with a single up the middle, bringing the score to the game-final 12-4.