Jones Hits For the Cycle as Spartans Win, 10-4

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Spartans win fourth straight.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartans win fourth straight. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Redshirt freshman Ryan Jones hit for the cycle as he went 5-for-5 with two RBI leading MSU to a 10-4 win over Indiana on Saturday at McLane Baseball Stadium. Leading 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, the Spartans scored five runs – all with two outs – to put the game away. MSU has now won its last four games and is 32-16 overall and 10-10 in the conference.


Jones singled in the first and fifth innings, homered in the third, and tripled in the seventh before his double in the eighth completed the cycle.


“I was looking for a good day today after going 0-for-4 yesterday,” said Jones. “I was just looking for my pitch and trying to drive it into the gaps. It’s nice to get the win.


With MSU leading 5-3 in the top of the eighth inning, a Spartan error with two outs led to a run for the Hoosiers, making it a one-run game. IU reliever Walker Stadler retired two of the first three hitters in the bottom of the eighth and it looked like it the game would go to the ninth with the score 5-4. But like he did all day, Jones came through again for MSU as he sparked a five-run outburst with a double down the right field line to complete the cycle.


“I just got the right pitch and drove it down the line,” Jones said.


Torsten Boss and Holm each followed with two-RBI doubles and a wild pitch gave MSU its fifth run of the inning and 10th of the day.


“We feel pretty good at the plate right now,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “I think it started on Wednesday at Michigan and, thankfully, it has carried over into the last two days.”


Trey Popp came on in relief for MSU starter Kurt Wuderlich and went 2.1 innings for MSU as he picked up his second win of the week in improving to 4-3. Popp threw 3.2 innings to get the win over Michigan on Wednesday and allowed just one run off one hit on Saturday against IU.


“Indiana has some great hitters, Trey kind of neutralized that and did nice job today,” said Boss.


Alex Dickerson got things going for the Hoosiers with a two-out, solo home run in the first inning. It was Dickerson’s league-leading 22nd homer of the season.


After the Spartans put up two hits in the first but stranded runners at the corners, IU starter Jonny Hoffman retired five consecutive before Jones tied the game at one with his first home run of the year. Jones’ shot came on a 2-0 count and cleared the left field wall.


The game remained tied at one until the top of the fourth when Michael Early singled to start the inning and later came around to score on a base hit by Tyler Rogers. A ground out RBI by Dylan Swift led to another run and a 3-1 IU lead.


After the Jones home run, Hoffman sat down the next six Spartans before hitting Andy Johnson with a pitch with one out in the fifth. Jones cut into the Hoosier lead with his third hit, and second RBI, of the game in the bottom of the fifth with a single that scored Andy Johnson to make it 3-2.


Wunderlich left in the sixth with two outs and runners on first and second before Popp came in to get the final out, stranding two runners and keeping the MSU deficit at just one run.


Holm started a Spartan rally with a leadoff double in the sixth and then scored when the next batter, Roberts, drove him in with a ground-rule double to tie the game at three.


With one out, Brandon Eckerle got Roberts over to third base with a well-placed bunt single down the third base line. MSU used the bunt again successfully in the next at-bat as Johnson laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring in Roberts and give MSU its first lead of the game, 4-3.


Jones’ hot day at the plate continued in the seventh when he led off the inning with a triple to right center field. Two batters later, a double by Jonathan Roof scored Jones and made the score 5-3.


IU’s Jerrud Sabourin pitched just 0.1 of an inning and took the loss for IU (24-24, 9-11).


MSU will go for the sweep tomorrow when the two teams meet at 1:05 p.m. at McLane Baseball Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.