April 6, 2014
EAST LANSING - The Michigan State baseball team picked up its seventh consecutive win on Sunday, downing Siena 5-1 at McLane Baseball Stadium to finish off a three-game sweep of the Saints. Blaise Salter snapped a 1-1 tie with solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Jimmy Pickens tacked on a two-out, three-RBI double in the seventh to help push MSU's record to 17-11 on the season.
Cam Vieaux earned his second straight win, pitching a season-high 6 2/3 innings.
"It's always good to sweep," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "I think we have a good ball club, but it's not always easy to win three games in a row. I give our guys credit, they put together a nice weekend."
MSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second courtesy of an RBI single by Joel Fisher. Fisher hit a high-chopping single that bounced over the head of the third baseman, allowing Cam Gibson to score from second base.
The Spartans then loaded the bases later in the inning with a walk to Ryan Krill and a bunt by Johnny Nate. With no outs, it looked like MSU might add to its 1-0 lead, but Dan Durkin grounded into a double play and then Anthony Cheky fouled out to left field to end the threat.
Siena (5-22) tied the game at one in the top of the fourth when a pair of MSU errors with two outs extended the inning.
The tie lasted until the bottom of the sixth when Salter's solo shot gave MSU back the lead. The home run cleared the scoreboard in left field and was his team-leading fourth of the season.
Siena reliever Kyano Cummings gave up two singles and then intentionally put Salter on to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, setting the table for Pickens. The junior came through, belting the first pitch he saw into the gap in left center field to score all three runners and give MSU a 5-1 lead.
"That was a big swing by a veteran guy in Pickens," Boss said. "Our best guys have to be our best guys if we are going to win and they were in the right spots today."
Siena's last scoring opportunity came in the top of the seventh when it loaded the bases. Anthony Misiewicz took over for Vieaux and got Mike Allen to fly out to center field.
Vieaux surrendered five hits, walked one and struck out two in improving to 4-2 on the season.
Siena's starting pitcher Bryan Goossens gave up nine hits, two runs and issued one walk in six innings of work.
The Spartans continue their homestand this week when they host Central Michigan on Tuesday and Western Michigan on Wednesday. Both games will begin at 3:05 p.m.