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By Sean Gagnier
Michigan's Brandon Sinnery proved to be too much for the Spartans as he tossed 8.1 scoreless innings in the Wolverines 4-0 victory of the series opener with Michigan State in Ann Arbor on Friday night.
Michigan State has ace Tony Bucciferro on the mound and, as always, he gave them a good outing, throwing 7.2 innings while striking out seven. The loss was reminiscent of Bucciferro's first Big Ten outing this season against Ohio State. During his two starts against the Buckeyes and Wolverines Bucciferro has allowed just four runs but has not received any run support of his own.
The Wolverines had their own ace on the mound in Sinnery, who turned in a stellar performance. He was eventually relieved from the mound, but only after throwing 127 pitches in 8.1 innings of scoreless ball while fanning five, walking just one and scattering nine hits.
UM shortstop Dylan Delaney gave the Wolverines all the runs they would need in the first inning when he connected with a Bucciferro pitch in the bottom of the first and drove it over the left field wall for a solo home run.
Bucciferro held the score at 1-0 until Patrick Biondi launched a pitch over the right field wall for a home run and John Lorenz plated a runner with a single to left. Coley Crank drove a Bucciferro pitch down the left field line in the eighth for an RBI double, giving the Wolverines a 4-0 advantage.
Michigan State outhit Michigan nine to eight, but struggled with runners in scoring position, stranding nine men on base in the game and four in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Spartans threatened in the sixth inning when the top of the order clicked and combined for three straight singles to load the bases with two out. Michigan stymied the rally when Sinnery was able to get Tony Wieber to pop out to end the inning.
In the eighth the Spartans threatened once again, getting Jordan Keur and Torsten Boss on base on back to back singles. But with the runners on and two out the Spartans were unable to cash in on the scoring opportunity.
Michigan State gave one last effort with one out in the ninth when they loaded the bases. But a Jared Hook grounder that was turned for a double play ended the rally and the game for the Spartans.
The Michigan victory is their first in their last four opportunities, with the losing skid dating back to the 2010 season. The series shifts to McLane Baseball Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday before closing out back in Ann Arbor on Sunday.