March 7, 2012
WACO, Texas - Sophomore right-hander David Garner threw six scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season as the Michigan State baseball team shut out No. 25 Baylor, 4-0, Wednesday night at Baylor Ballpark. It marks the second victory over a ranked opponent for the Spartans in 2012, as MSU defeated No. 11 St. John's on Opening Day.
"I'm really proud of the way our guys played tonight," said MSU head coach Jake Boss. "At the beginning of the year, we talked about getting signature wins for our program, and tonight is definitely one of them. We played great defensively, pitched well, and although we left a lot of runners on base, we had enough timely hits to win the game."
Garner (1-1) scattered three hits in his six innings and also recorded five strikeouts. He now has 14 strikeouts this season in 15 2/3 innings of work.
"David would get himself in trouble, then would get himself out of trouble," Boss said, as Garner did walk five batters and hit one. "He's a very talented pitcher with an electric arm. He has a chance to be special, and tonight was a great learning experience for him."
Michigan State knocked out Baylor (9-6) starter Austin Stone, who was making his collegiate debut, in the top of the second. With two outs, Stone walked two straight and hit a batter to load the bases, and was lifted from the game; however, the Spartans couldn't take advantage as a strikeout ended the inning.
Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the second, Garner escape out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a strikeout and a pop out to keep the game scoreless.
The Spartans (5-6) struck first with a run in the third, as Torsten Boss led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Boss came around to score on a Ryan Jones RBI double, but Jones was thrown out at third on the play trying to get a triple.
MSU added two runs in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 3-0. Making his first career start, freshman center fielder Anthony Cheky delivered a one-out single and eventually scored on a Boss RBI groundout. Pickens drove in the second run on a two-out infield single.
Cheky scored for the second time of the game in the seventh, as Michigan State collected an insurance run on a Keur RBI single to right field.
Brad Kuntz (1-2) took the loss for Baylor, allowing three hits and one run in his 3.1 innings of relief. The Bears used six pitchers in the game and walked 10 batters.
Michigan State returns to action for three games this weekend (Friday-Sunday) at Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Spartans will play Xavier Friday at 3:30 p.m., Seton Hall Saturday at 6 p.m. and Pittsburgh Sunday at 11 a.m.