April 9, 2014
EAST LANSING - The Michigan State baseball team got back on the winning track Wednesday, producing 17 hits in an 11-3 victory over Western Michigan at McLane Baseball Stadium. Led by Ryan Richardson, who went 4-for-5 with a career-high three RBIs, a total of six Spartans had multiple hits in the game.
"I thought our approach at the plate was much better today than it was yesterday. When we stick with the plan I think we have a chance to be pretty good," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "We took care of the ball defensively, so we had a better day."
MSU (18-12) got out to a 5-0 lead, scoring twice in the second inning and then adding three more runs in the third.
In the bottom of the second, Cam Gibson drew a leadoff walk and two batters later, Ryan Krill doubled down the right field line to give MSU a pair of base runners. Richardson and Johnny Nate capitalized, both hitting RBI singles to make the score 2-0.
The Spartans built on their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the third. After Jimmy Pickens was plunked with a pitch and Gibson hit another single, Joel Fisher knocked in both runners with a single to right center field.
Krill made it 5-0 with an RBI single off the wall in right field.
Western Michigan (13-15) got on the board with a solo run in the top of the fourth, but Anthony Cheky plated Nate with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame to reestablish the Spartans' five-run lead at 6-1.
A hit batter and a single gave the Broncos some life with one out in the top of the fifth. After Andrew Sohn made it 6-2 with an RBI base hit, Anthony Misiewicz replaced starter Chase Rihtarchik on the mound for MSU. Misiewicz gave up a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-3, but then shut down the Broncos in the sixth.
Still leading 6-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, MSU batted around and pushed across five runs - all with two outs - to take an 11-3 lead.
Blaise Salter started things with a double and Pickens drove him in with a single to the gap in right center field. A wild pitch gave MSU its second run of the inning while Ryan Krill's second double and second RBI of the day made it 9-3.
Richardson got his fourth hit of the game later in the inning, which scored two more runs, and pushed the MSU advantage to 11-3.
In replacing Rihtarchik in the fifth, Misiewicz earned the win for the Spartans, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
WMU starter Derek Schneider took the loss, allowing five runs off six hits in 2 1/3 innings.
The Spartans will return to Big Ten play this weekend when they host Purdue in a three-game series beginning Friday at 3:05 p.m.