On a cold and gloomy Tuesday afternoon the baseball team (23-16 overall, 7-5 Big Ten) cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Toledo Rockets (15-25 overall). The win was MSU's fourth straight and 11th in the last 13.
The Spartans got things going in the second when freshman infielder Zack McGuire hit a RBI single that scored freshman pitcher and outfielder Brandon Hughes.
The Rockets tied things up at 1-1 for a brief moment in the top of the fourth off of a RBI single from sophomore pitcher Jordan Kesson who was the designated hitter for the day.
That is as close as it would get for Toledo as MSU reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. A sacrifice fly from senior catcher and first baseman Blaise Salter scored senior infielder Mark Weist to give MSU a 2-1 lead.
In the next inning MSU opened things up with a five-run fifth. Senior first baseman Ryan Krill hit a RBI single that scored the first one to make it 3-1. Junior outfielder Cam Gibson scored on a wild pitch shortly after, followed by a Weist walk and a two RBI double from Salter. Senior infielder Ryan Richardson brought Salter home on a RBI single to make it 7-1 after five.
"Blaise Salter had a huge at bat for us and kind of broke it open with the double," head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "Guys have really been locked in, and (they are) seeing the ball well and swinging the bat well. Another good effort today for a solid nine innings."
The Rockets scored their second and final run in the top of the sixth off of a solo home run from Kesson who was the lone bright spot for Toledo in the matchup.
MSU answered with on of its own in the bottom of the sixth when Gibson hit a RBI triple. The Spartans added one more in the seventh to make it 9-2 when McGuire brought home Salter with a sacrifice fly, and that is where the score would stay.
Starting pitcher for the Spartans, freshman Alex Troop looked as good if not better than he has all year. The freshman pitched 7.0 innings, giving up just two runs and throwing eight strikeouts.
Salter had himself a day at the plate going 2-for-3 with three RBI, two runs and a walk. McGuire also performed well in just his 10th start of the season going 1-for-3 with two RBI.
"Our pitching was great today, Alex (Troop) had a great start," Salter said "We got some timely hitting and we've been hitting really well as of late. It was great to come back here and play a home game and get a win."
The team will travel to Kalamazoo tomorrow to take on Western Michigan before traveling this weekend to take on conference for Indiana.
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