March 15, 2014
Greenville, S.C. - The Michigan State baseball team took both games of its doubleheader with Harvard at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday afternoon, to improve to 9-7 on the season. MSU won game one, 1-0, and then took game two, 4-0. The story of the day for the Spartans was pitching and defense, as they allowed a total of just seven hits in the two games on the day.
Mick VanVossen pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in game one, improving to 4-0 on the season. Sophomore Justin Alleman took the hill for the second game and threw eight innings and had five strikeouts.
"It was a really good day by the pitching staff," said head coach Jake Boss. "Anytime your starters can go deep into the ball game and be in control the whole way, it's big for you. I thought Mick (VanVossen) overcame some defensive issues and showed what a number one guy needs to do by taking things into his own hands. In game two, I thought we played really defensively and Justin had good stuff and really used the strike zone affectively."
Michigan State needed just one run to get the win in the first game, improving to 4-0 in one-run games this season.
The Spartans manufactured their lone run of a 1-0 victory in the fifth inning, starting with Joel Fisher's second double of the afternoon. A sacrifice bunt by Ryan Richardson moved Fisher to third before P.J. Nowak knocked him in with a sac fly to center field.
"With the way our pitchers were throwing today, there was a lot of confidence when we got the lead," said Boss. "We had to manufacture a couple of runs today and get some big hits in there."
Jeff Kinley came in relief for VanVossen to start the eighth and recorded the six-out save. It was Kinley's Big-Ten leading fifth save of the season.
Michigan State jumped out early in game two and didn't look back, scoring a pair of runs in both the first and sixth innings.
The Crimson threatened in the fourth inning, loading the bases on two walks and a base hit. Alleman got out of the jam though, getting the final hitter of the inning to foul out to Krill at first.
"That was a big spot in the ball game," said Boss. "Alleman's stuff is electric, so when he can locate, he is as good as anyone around. He made some big pitches when he needed to in big spots and getting himself out of that jam that allowed him to cruise the rest of the way."
Jimmy Pickens knocked in the other two runs on the day for MSU with a two-RBI triple to right field that scored Salter and Krill to make it 4-0.
"It is tough to win twice in the same day, regardless of who you play," said Boss. "It is a good day anytime you can win twice and throw two shutouts."
Michigan State is scheduled to return to action against Harvard tomorrow at 5 p.m.