April 20, 2010
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Freshman pitcher Tony Wieber threw seven-complete shutout innings and the Spartans scored two runs in three consecutive innings to help Michigan State defeat Western Michigan, 6-3, on Tuesday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing. After giving up five hits through three innings, Wieber allowed just two hits the rest of the way and struck out two to improve his record to 2-0 and help MSU to 24-9 overall.
"Tony threw a lot of pitches in the first two innings and got himself into some trouble, but fortunately he settled in and threw really, really well after that," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr.
Despite Western Michigan out hitting MSU and putting a total of six runners on base through the top of the third inning, it was Michigan State that scored first. After Wieber got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the third, Bo Felt led off the bottom of the frame with a base hit to left field to get things going for the Green and White. Brandon Eckerle doubled down the left field line two batters later and Ryan Jones followed with base hit up the middle that scored Felt and Eckerle.
A leadoff walk to Torsten Boss followed by a single from Chris Roberts put MSU in position to strike again in the bottom of the fourth. Jordan Keur followed Roberts with an RBI single and then Felt made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The Spartans made it three consecutive two-run innings in the fifth, scoring twice more to take a 6-0 lead. Jonathan Roof made it 5-0 with a line-drive homer to left field and a ground-out RBI by Boss made it 6-0.
After stranding five runners off five hits through the first three innings, Wieber retired the next seven WMU hitters before giving up a single in the sixth. Wieber was able to induce inning-ending 4-6-3 double plays in the sixth and seventh to keep his shutout in tact.
"It didn't feel like I had my best start early on," Wieber said. "But once the offense turned it on and the defense starts making great plays, it makes it a lot easier to pitch."
The Broncos (9-26) foiled the Spartans' shutout bid in the top of the ninth as they scored three in the top of the ninth to make the final score 6-3.
The Spartans will travel to Midland on Wednesday to take on Central Michigan at 6:30 p.m. at the Dow Diamond.