April 16, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the fourth-straight game, Michigan State baseball won on a walk-off. The Spartans took down Toledo on Tuesday afternoon at McLane Stadium, 7-6 in 12 innings. Freshman Cam Gibson led off the 12th inning with a triple to right field and scored the winning run on a sac fly from Anthony Cheky.
Michigan State (22-11, 5-4) now has six walk-off wins on the season, the most among NCAA Division I teams.
"I give our guys a lot of credit, especially in the end," head coach Jake Boss said. "Any time you can win in walk-off fashion it's going to help us at the end of the year and at tournament time. Our guys, just like last weekend, there was always a belief in the dugout that we were going to win the game."
MSU led 6-0 after two innings but the Rockets even the game with three runs in fourth, two in the fifth and one in the ninth.
Freshman Justin Alleman threw four innings in relief and earned the win, his third of the season. He allowed four hits and one run while striking out six.
"He's our closer and he is in tremendous physical shape. We felt good about extending him today. Obviously, he won't be able to go tomorrow if we need him. I think we were right at the breaking point there. That was going to be his last inning because we do need him for Friday and the conference games."
The Spartans wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Left fielder Cam Gibson led off with a triple down the right field line and scored on an RBI-fielder's choice from Anthony Cheky.
Toledo starter Alec Schmenk walked the next three batters, adding another Spartan run. Kevin Goergen then sent a two-RBI single down the left field line, scoring Jimmy Pickens and Blaise Salter.
The Spartans also added two unearned runs in second inning.
The Rockets cut the lead in half with three runs in the fourth inning. Jacob North had a two-RBI double to center field and Zack Michael had an RBI-single.
In the fifth, Toledo added another pair of runs. Anthony Smith and Tyler Baar both recorded RBI-singles for Toledo.
Zwierzynski went 3 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up five hits and two runs, both unearned, and struck out three. Trey Popp came into the game for MSU and threw one inning before Alleman took over for him in the ninth.
Michigan State was hanging on to a one run lead in the ninth but the Rockets wouldn't go away. Tyler Grogg led off with an infield single and Deion Tansel reached on a bunt, putting the go-ahead run on base. Matt Delewski recorded an RBI on a groundout and Toledo tied the game. Alleman ended the threat with a strikeout.
The game went scoreless until the 12th inning when the Spartans were able to win on yet another walk-off. After Gibson tripled to center field, Ryan Richardson grounded out, brining up Cheky. On the first pitch of the at-bat Cheky sent a fly ball deep enough to left field to score the winning run.
Michigan State will face off against Central Michigan tomorrow in the Clash at Comerica in Detroit at 6:35 p.m.