Mar 23, 2012

Spartans Take Home Opener Against Oakland

Photo from Sean Gagnier

By Sean Gagnier

Tony Bucciferro toed the slab at McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field for the first time this season and he refused to give up an earned run to the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland. The Spartans ace took the ball from Coach Jake Boss Jr. and went seven solid innings in a 2-1 Spartans win.

Oakland was able to plate their only runner of the game in the first inning when Tim Ryan reached base on a throwing error by Justin Scanlon. From there the Grizzlies showed how aggressive they play ball as Ryan stole second followed quickly by another swipe of third. Aaron Cieslak then singled Ryan in, an unearned run, before himself stealing second. Bucciferro was then able to get Spencer Marentette to ground out to end the inning.

Michigan State was unable to get a runner home until the third when Jared Hook hit a lead off double to center ahead of a Anthony Cheky sacrifice bunt to move him to third. With Hook on third Ryan Jones flew out to center to allow Hook to tag and score.

Bucciferro took advantage of the aggressive Oakland team, picking two runners off first base during his seven innings of work. During his time on the mound Bucciferro allowed seven hits, even pitching out of a bases loaded one out jam in the second, while walking two and fanning four.

Jeff Kinley entered the game in relief of Bucciferro in the eighth and retired Oakland without allowing a hit while walking one. Tony Wieber, the designated hitter for the game, drove in Jordan Keur on a double to left. Keur reached base on a walk before being plated by Wieber. Jimmy Pickens then struck out looking before Kevin Goergen grounded out to third.

In the ninth Coach Boss turned to David Garner who walked one and retired one before being hit by a throw from catcher John Martinez.

With an Oakland player on first he took off for second and Martinez rose and fired towards second base to try to catch him stealing, but instead caught Garner square in the back causing him to double over. He attempted to get back on the mound but was unable to which meant that Tony Wieber took over for the last 2/3 of the inning.

Wieber faced two batters in his time in the ninth, he struck one out looking before getting Todd Dunham to pop out to third to end the game.

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