March 8, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Michigan State baseball team picked up its second consecutive win over No. 21 TCU on Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, as it downed the Horned Frogs, 4-1. MSU starting pitcher Mick VanVossen held TCU to just six hits over eight innings to improve to 3-0 on the season.
"Mick was really in control the entire way today," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "He never really got himself into trouble and was able to get ahead in the count most of the day. It's good to have him go deep into a game for the second weekend in a row."
While VanVossen did his part to keep the Horned Frogs from threatening, the Spartan offense put pressure on TCU pitchers all afternoon, combining for 14 hits.
"We have the kind of offense that if we're able to keep pressure on, we can be a difficult team to play against," said Boss. "Our offensive approach was good all day and we kind of felt like we're starting to break out a bit today. Today was definitely something to build off."
The only time all afternoon TCU (8-6) got to VanVossen was the first inning when a two-out infield single by Kevin Cron gave the Horned Frogs a 1-0 lead.
The Spartan (7-6) offense got to work in the third inning, scoring three runs to take a 3-1 advantage. Cam Gibson and Anthony Cheky started the frame with back-to-back singles and Gibson later scored on a failed pickoff attempt by TCU starter Preston Morrison.
A double steel by Cheky and Jimmy Pickens set the table for Ryan Richardson, who delivered with an RBI single for the second run of the inning. Joel Fisher singled through the left side later in the frame to plate Pickens and make it 3-1.
The Spartans' hottest hitter, Blaise Salter, helped MSU extend its lead to 4-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Salter extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI double that scored Cheky.
Cheky finished the game 4-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
VanVossen faced the minimum in the third, fourth and seventh innings. He finished the game with six strikeouts and just two walks.
In the ninth, closer Jeff Kinley took over the mound and picked up his fourth save of the season.
The two teams will complete the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Detroit Plus.