April 22, 2014
EAST LANSING - A three-run first inning turned out to be the difference in a 4-2 Michigan State victory over Toledo on a windy afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium in East Lansing. Cam Gibson went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot in the lineup, while Blaise Salter knocked in a pair of runs.
Michigan State improved to 21-17 with the win and Toledo fell to 15-23.
"I thought we showed signs today of breaking out of it after a tough weekend," said MSU head coach Jake Boss. "We moved some runners a few times when we had opportunities and had another good effort out of the bullpen. It will be good to get two practices in this week because we haven't had that opportunity in a while."
Gibson had his first of three hits in the game in the first inning, leading off with a single. After a walk to Anthony Cheky, Salter hit a single that just got by the third baseman to bring in Gibson for a 1-0 Spartan lead. Jimmy Pickens followed with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 2-0. Ryan Krill bumped the lead to 3-0 later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Rockets got on the board in the fourth, but Salter responded for the Spartans in the bottom of the frame with a sac fly that plated to Justin Hovis.
Toledo cut into the Spartan lead in the sixth with an RBI single by Tyler Baar. Following the RBI single by Baar, Jake Lowery took over for Chase Rihtarchik with runners on first and second and one out. Lowery got a flyout and then a groundout to get out of the inning, keeping the score 4-2.
Lowery retired all seven hitters he faced before Jeff Kinley took the mound with two outs in the eighth. Kinley got a groundout to end the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.
Toledo starting pitcher Steve Calhoun took the loss, yielding three runs off two hits in two-complete innings.
In his first-career start, Joe Mockbee went 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run off two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
The Spartans will host Northwestern in a three-game series this weekend. The series will begin at 3:05 p.m. Friday at McLane Baseball Stadium.