March 27, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State baseball team won its seventh straight game with a 13-3 victory over Bowling Green Tuesday afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium. The Spartans (14-7) slugged out 16 hits, including four from Jordan Keur. Jared Hook also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while Jimmy Pickens hit his first career homer at McLane Baseball Stadium with a two-run blast to right field.
"Hitting is contagious," said MSU head coach Jake Boss. "We swung it really well last Saturday and Sunday and carried that over into today. The guys at the top of our order are really swinging the bat well right now. Jordan Keur had another big day, and we had a chance to get some young guys in there as well; Blaise Salter had a couple of hits today. It was also good to see Joel Fisher back out on the field, and he had a couple of hits."
Although Spartan starter David Garner took the no decision after throwing just three innings, he struck out a season-high seven. Garner allowed one unearned run in the first and scattered four hits.
After Bowling Green (8-16) took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Spartans scored nine unanswered runs to go up 9-1 after six innings.
Freshman Blaise Salter recorded his first career RBI with a double in the second inning that brought home Joel Fisher. Fisher, who went 2-for-5, caught his first game since suffering a knee injury in the second game of the season.
MSU went up 3-1 with two unearned runs in the third.
Junior lefty Trey Popp relieved Garner in the fourth and was equally as effective, striking out three and surrendering just one hit in three scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season.
The Spartans tacked on two runs in the fifth and fourth in the seventh to take a commanding 9-1 lead. Hook had a two-run double in the sixth while Ryan Jones also delivered an RBI single in the inning.
The Falcons cut the Spartan advantage to 9-3 with two runs in the seventh, but MSU bounced back with four more runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 13-3. Pickens, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, crushed the first offering he saw over the right-field fence for his second homer of the year. Keur collected his fourth and final hit with an RBI single and Ryan Krill had a pinch-hit RBI double for MSU.
The Spartans, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, host Central Michigan (11-13) Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. at McLane Baseball Stadium.
"It's important that we compete in these midweek games," said Boss. "It shows a lot of character for our ballclub. At the end of the year, when you go back and look at your schedule to try and get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, you need to get as close to 40 wins as possible. That's not an easy thing to do. The midweek games become extremely important in that regard."
Freshman right-hander Mick VanVossen will be making his first career start for MSU, while CMU will be throwing freshman left-hander Matt Trowbridge.