March 4, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Michigan State baseball team tied its season-high with 16 hits as the Spartans defeated SIU-Edwardsville, 8-1, Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Bethune-Cookman Invitational, held at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. With the win, Michigan State improves to 6-1 for the season, marking its best seven-game start since 1992.
Senior center fielder Brandon Eckerle continued his hot start at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk. He's now batting a Big Ten-best .704 this season (19-for-27) and has an on-base percentage of .742.
Freshman right fielder Jeff Kinley had the best game of his young Spartan career, going 3-for-3 with an RBI double, while junior shortstop Justin Scanlon collected a season-high three hits and drove in two runs.
Junior Tony Bucciferro picked up his second win of the season by allowing just one run on five hits in his six innings of work.
The Cougars (1-7) tied the game in the bottom of the third, but it would be their only run of the game.
MSU reclaimed the lead in the fourth, scoring twice as Scanlon and Kinley each had run-scoring hits, making it 3-1.
The Spartans broke the game open in the sixth with three runs, pushing their lead to 6-1. Jeff Holm led off the inning with a single and later scored on an error, and Jordan Keur hit a two-run double to left field to bring plate Scanlon and Joel Fisher.
Boss tripled home Jones in the eighth and Andy Johnson doubled home Kinley in the ninth to make the final 8-1.
Spencer Patton (0-2) took the loss for SIUE, allowing six runs, two earned, on 10 hits in 5.2 innings.
Michigan State returns to action Saturday for two games in the Bethune-Cookman Invitational. The Spartans will play SIU-Edwardsville again at 3 p.m. before taking on host Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m.