March 6, 2013
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Michigan State baseball defeated Tennessee Tech, 5-3, on Wednesday night in a lone midweek game due to storms in the area yesterday. The Spartans (5-5) got RBIs from Ryan Richardson, Jordan Keur and Jimmy Pickens, while junior starter Chase Rihtarchik gave up just two runs in six innings, earning the win for MSU. The Golden Eagles (6-5) threatened in the ninth inning with a two-out home run, but Jeff Kinely stuck out the final batter to pick up the save.
"I thought our guys showed some character, it's been a rough couple of days with the weather," head coach Jake Boss said. "It was cold today but I thought our guys played the most complete game so far this year. We had some timely hits, some extra base hits and some RBIs. We played good defense and our pitching was very good."
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Ryan Richardson grounded out to first base but notched an RBI, scoring Cam Gibson on the play and Pickens followed that up with an RBI double to right-center, bringing in Jordan Keur.
Rihtarchik threw six innings, giving up just three hits and two runs while also striking out two.
Richardson came through with his second RBI of the game off a sac fly in the top of the third, scoring Blaise Salter who singled earlier in the inning, giving the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles scored its only two runs off Rihtarchik in the bottom of the third inning. In a two-out jam after giving up a single and walking two batters, James Abraham hit an RBI single and the following batter was hit by the pitch. Dylan Bosheers grounded into a fielder's choice and the Spartan lead was cut to 3-2.
"Tonight he got himself in trouble one time but then came back and got out of it," Boss said of Rihtarchik. "He really shut them down the next inning and was close to coming out of the ball game but we decided to go with him and he responded. He's come a long way and has worked hard. It's nice to see him benefit from all that hard work.
MSU picked up another run in the top of the fifth after Gibson led off the frame with a double down the left field line and Keur followed that up with an RBI double to right center.
Anthony Misiewicz came in and replaced Rihtarchik in the seventh inning, and he gave up just one hit while blanking the Golden Eagles in two innings of work.
In the top of the eighth, Pickens led off with a single and went on to score on a wild pitch by Tennessee Tech pitcher Stanton Taylor.
Jeff Kinley relieved Misiewicz in the bottom of the ninth and retired the first two batters. Kinley then surrendered a home run to Daniel Miles, before striking out Evan Frazier to end the game.
The Spartans are back in action on Friday at 4 p.m. against No. 11 Kentucky in the first game of a three-game weekend series.