March 26, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Behind a solid outing from starting pitcher A.J. Achter and a four-RBI day from designated hitter Chris Roberts, the Michigan State baseball team cruised to its third shutout win in its last four games with an 8-0 win over Oakland on Friday in the home opener at McLane Baseball Stadium. The Spartans now have four shutouts this season and improved to 13-4, winning their seventh straight game. Oakland fell to 3-10.
After piling up 23 runs in three wins over Notre Dame last weekend, the Spartan offense picked up where it left off with three runs in the first inning on Friday. Eli Boike led off with a triple off top of the wall in right center and scored one batter later when Brandon Eckerle drove him in with sacrifice fly. Back-to-back doubles by Jonathan Roof and Jeff Holm resulted in another run for the Spartans and Chris Roberts closed out the inning with an RBI single.
"We played well today," Boss said. "We were ready to play, which is a good thing. Guys were excited to play at home and we came out swinging the bats early and put up a big number in the first inning and kind of set the tone for the ballgame."
Holm, who finished the day 3-for-4, got his second RBI of the day in the fifth with a single and two batters later, Roberts belted a three-run home run to put the game out of reach for MSU, 8-0.
Achter allowed just three base runners, one of which he picked off, after the second inning and struck out six to improve to 3-0 on the season. After posting consecutive scoreless starts, Achter's ERA is now just 1.52.
"I definitely didn't have my best stuff today, but I battled through," Achter said. "More importantly, we won and improved to 13-4."
Achter was the recipient of another error-free performance from the Spartan defense on Friday, which entered the game with the second-highest fielding percentage in the nation. With two on and two out in the top of the fifth, Bo Felt's spectacular diving catch in left field abruptly ended Oakland's biggest offensive threat of the game.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow and play a doubleheader beginning at 12:05 p.m. at McLane Baseball Stadium.