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Spartans Top Buckeyes in Walk-Off Fashion in Big Ten Opener

Jimmy Pickens went 3-for-5 in Friday's win.

March 21, 2014

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ryan Krill's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Michigan State baseball team a 7-6 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten opener on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. A total of six Spartans had RBIs in the win, which boosted the Spartans' record to 10-8 on the season.

Friday's game was the first of three between the Spartans and Buckeyes in Columbus this weekend. MSU is serving as the home team in all three games as the series was scheduled to be played in East Lansing, but was moved due to the winter weather conditions.

With the Spartans leading, 6-4, heading into the top of the ninth, OSU scored two runs with no outs to tie the game. Cam Vieaux then replaced Jake Lowery on the mound for MSU and retired the next three hitters in order to end the threat and strand the go-ahead run at third base.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jimmy Pickens hit a one out single and Joel Fisher walked to give MSU a pair of baserunners. Krill then delivered the winning hit with a single into center field.

"I thought our guys showed some character tonight," MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "It was a back and forth game with a lot of momentum changes. We got into a jam in the ninth and got out without giving up a lead."

Eight Spartans had hits in the game, led by Cam Gibson (2-for-4), Blaise Salter (2-for-5), Pickens (3-for-5) and Ryan Richardson (2-for-4).



"When the guys at the top and the middle of our batting order are good, we can score a lot of runs," Boss said. "We need them to be productive, and when they are we have a good chance to score."

Gibson gave MSU a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first with solo homer. After OSU tied the game at one in the top of the third, MSU quickly responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to reclaim the lead, 4-1. Gibson got things going for MSU as he led off the inning with a triple. Anthony Cheky then scored Gibson with a sacrifice fly. Three batters later, Joel Fisher followed a single by Salter and a double by Pickens with a two-RBI single to left field.

Pat Porter pulled OSU (13-7) to within a run, 4-3, in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run.

Anthony Misiewicz took over for starting pitcher Mick VanVossen in the sixth and gave up just one run in his two innings. Meanwhile, Salter (RBI double) and Pickens (RBI double) helped MSU reestablish its three run lead, 6-3, in the bottom of the seventh.

"Anthony threw really, really well when we need him tonight," said Boss.

VanVossen yielded three runs off two hits, struck out five and walked three.

Prior to tying the game in the top of the ninth inning, Ohio State made it 6-4 in the eighth on a Josh Dezse RBI double.

Vieaux improved to 2-1 on the year with the win, while Trace Dempsey took the loss for OSU.

The Spartans and Buckeyes will meet again tomorrow at 3:05 p.m.

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