Apr 3, 2012

Spartans Score 8 In First En Route to 10-5 Victory over Buckeyes

By Sean Gagnier
The Spartans took the rubber game of their series with Ohio State on Monday with an eight-run first inning en route to a 10-5 victory. Michigan State's victory was their 13th in their last 15 and seventh of eight at McLane Baseball Stadium this season.

Monday's game was the opposite of the first two of the series which were pitchers duels, on Monday the two teams racked up 11 runs and eight hits. Ohio State got out in front of the Spartans early with a three run first inning before Michigan State answered with eight of their own in the bottom of the first.

During their eight-run first the Spartans sent 12 men to the plate, racked up five hits and knocked Buckeye starter Brett McKinney out of the game. Tony Wieber lead the rally in the first when he sent a single up the middle that scored two.

With two runners in and Wieber on base Joel Fisher hit a frozen rope down the left field line that scored Wieber to tie the game at three. Ryan Krill then hit a sacrifice fly to center field that plated Fisher before Ryan Jones got his second hit of the inning that scored another two runs.With the hit Jones knocked McKinney out of the game.

Ohio State turned to John Kuchno in relief - his first batter was Jordan Keur, who promptly sent a double down the left field line to bring home another two runs to increase the Spartans lead to 8-3.

On the mound for the Spartans was Mike Theodore, who despite being knocked around in the first, bounced back allowing one run in the second before retiring nine consecutive batters. However, he was unable to get out of the fifth inning. Coach Jake Boss, Jr. took the ball from Theodore after 4.2 innings and handed it off to Jeff Kinley with the bases loaded and two outs.

Kinley proved the trust his coach had in him was well placed by getting out of the bases loaded jam with a flyout and providing the Spartans with 4.1 innings of scoreless, two hit work. During his time on the mound Kinley recorded a career-high six strikeouts and earned his fourth win of the season. Kinley has been on high of late, not allowing an earned run in his last four appearances.

In the bottom of the eighth Torsten Boss launched a one-out triple before being plated on a Wieber double to extend the Spartans lead to 10-5. The victory gives the Spartans their first series win over Ohio State since 2007. 

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