May 6, 2014
KALAMAZOO - Ryan Richardson broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out, RBI-single in the top of the ninth inning to give Michigan State a 5-4 victory over Western Michigan on Tuesday afternoon at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo. Jeff Kinley recorded the final out of the game to earn his ninth save of the season as MSU improved its overall record to 25-20.
Trailing 4-3 with one out in the top of eighth, Michigan State tied the game on an RBI fielder's choice from Anthony Cheky. With Chase Toth on third and Cam Gibson on first, Cheky hit ball toward second base that allowed Toth to come home from the third.
Jimmy Pickens led off the top of the ninth inning for the Spartans with a base hit to right field, but after a strikeout and fly out, it looked like the Broncos might get out of the inning stranding Pickens at first.
Pickens was able to work himself into scoring position by stealing second and Richardson came through at the plate, knocking a 2-2 pitch from Gabe Berman down the left field line to score Pickens.
Jake Lowery, who got the final out of the sixth, started the ninth inning on the mound, getting a fly out and issuing a walk to Jared Kujawa. Anthony Misiewicz retired the only hitter he faced as Kinley was then brought in to get the final out.
Kinley walked Grant Miller, but then got Hunter Prince to ground out on the first pitch to end the game.
Lowery earned the win for MSU, allowing just a hit 2 2/3 innings.
Senior Joel Fisher led MSU at the plate, going 3-for-5. He got things started in the top of the second when he led off the inning with a solo blast over the left-center field wall. Fisher made it 2-0 Spartans in the top of the third when his RBI single plated Pickens.
A single and two walks put WMU (19-25) in position to get on the board in the bottom of the third. Andrew Sohn's RBI single cut the Spartan lead to 2-1, but starting pitcher Joe Mockbee halted any further damage by getting a fielder's choice and then a fly out to end the inning.
A throwing error by Sohn with two outs in the top of the sixth allowed Cheky to reach first and Johnny Nate to score from second on the play to up the MSU lead to 3-1.
The Broncos retaliated in the bottom of the fame by scoring three runs to grab the lead, 4-3. Three of the first four hitters reached to load the bases with one out and Dan Shutes' RBI single to center field drove in the first run.
With the bases still loaded, Josh Buchalski took over for reliever Walter Borkovich on the hill. After retiring the first hitting he faced, Buchalski hit each of the next two batters to bring in a pair of runs. Lowery got the final out of the inning, striking out Kujawa, but not before the Broncos took a 4-3 lead.
The Spartans will host Eastern Michigan tomorrow at McLane Baseball Stadium at 3:05 p.m.