Feb. 24, 2013
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Michigan State baseball team wrapped up action at the First Pitch Invitational on Sunday with an 8-6 loss to Miami-Ohio at Fluor Field.
The Spartans (3-3) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as freshman Cam Gibson, in his first career start in center field, led off with a walk and eventually scored on a Ryan Richardson RBI single.
It was the only time the Spartans would hold a lead, however, as the RedHawks (2-3) scored seven runs in the first two innings to take a commanding 7-1 advantage.
In his first start of the season, junior right-hander Mike Theodore surrendered six runs on five hits in just 1 1/3 innings of action. Theodore retired his first two batters, but Miami went on to score four runs on three hits in the bottom of the first.
Chase Rihtarchik relieved Theodore in the second and was charged with one run, but he went on to throw scoreless innings in the third and fourth and got two outs in the fifth while only giving up one more hit. He struck out three and walked three in his 3 1/3 innings of action; it was Rihtarchik's first appearance on the mound since the Big Ten Tournament in 2011, as he missed all of last season with an injury.
Miami's Alex Johnson led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to put the RedHawks up, 8-3.
The Spartans made things interesting in the ninth by scoring three runs, but the RedHawks got Blaise Salter to foul out to first base for the third and final out of the game, halting MSU's rally. Michigan State plated two runs in the inning on Miami wild pitches, and the third run scored was unearned after Richardson reached base on a fielding error and eventually crossed the plate on a RBI groundout by Keur.
Miami's Nathan Williams (1-0) pitched six innings to earn the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out three and walked five. Brandon Atkins got the save after recording the final two outs of the game.
The Spartans return to action for a three-game series at Austin Peay in Clarksville, Ky., next weekend (March 1-3).