Feb. 24, 2012
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Michigan State baseball team used an 11-run third inning to put away Miami-Ohio, 13-4, Friday afternoon in the opening game of the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field. The Spartans (2-2) will face Furman later this evening at 5 p.m.
On the mound, Tony Bucciferro earned his 22nd career victory and his second of the season after allowing four runs, three earned, in six innings of work. The senior right-hander didn't surrender a walk for the second straight outing and struck out two while giving up 10 hits.
Jones led off the decisive 11-run third inning with a single before stealing second, followed by a Justin Scanlon RBI single that plated Jones. After a Torsten Boss flyout, the Spartans rattled off eight straight hits, and 11 batters overall reached base consecutively.
The streak began with singles by Jordan Keur and Hook, a two-run double from Jimmy Pickens, and a two-run single from Martinez. Back-to-back freshmen then collected their first collegiate hits, as Ryan Krill and Kevin Goergen each delivered singles. A second straight Jones single loaded the bases for Scanlon, who tallied his second single of the inning with an RBI through the right side.
The hit parade only ended when Boss was walked with the bases loaded and Keur was hit by a pitch one batter latter. It picked right back up when Hook singled to center to drive in the 11th and final run of the inning. A double play finally brought the inning to a close for the RedHawks, who surrendered 11 hits total in the frame to the Spartans. The 11 runs were the most by MSU in an inning since it scored 12 in a 26-11 victory over Iowa on April 4, 2010.
"I thought our approach was great early in the game," said MSU head coach Boss. "Hitting is contagious, and we really got things rolling and put together some quality at-bats. We were really seeing the ball good. It was too bad we couldn't keep it going throughout the whole game, but we'll definitely take that big inning."
With MSU leading 12-0 after three innings, Miami-Ohio got on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth and three in the fifth.
"All in all, I thought Tony was OK and battled through some things," Boss said. "There were rain delays, and as a pitcher, those long innings can make it tougher to pitch when you have to wait. When he got out of the sixth without giving up a run, I thought that was the time to take him out."
The Spartans added a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 13-4 as Martinez led off with a triple and later scored after Krill was caught stealing at second.
Junior reliever Joe Zwierzynski pitched three scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his second career save.