LAKELAND, Fla. â€“ The Michigan State baseball team defeated Miami-Ohio, 7-5, Wednesday afternoon at Henley Park in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Sophomore Joe Zwierzynski earned his first collegiate win on the mound by pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless relief as the Spartans improved to 8-3 for the season.
The Green and White collected 11 hits in the contest, including two each by Ryan Jones, Torsten Boss and Justin Scanlon.
MSU opened a 7-1 lead after three innings, scoring three runs in the first and fourth in the third.
Brandon Eckerle and Jones led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles, and moved up a base on a Boss sacrifice bunt. Jeff Holm then drove in Eckerle on a groundout, while Joel Fisher delivered an RBI single to score Boss. Scanlon tripled down the right-field line one batter later, plating Fisher and giving MSU an early 3-0 advantage.
After Miami (4-7) got on the board with a run in the top of the third, the Spartans added to their lead in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs on five hits to make it 7-1. Boss and Carpenter both doubled, and Scanlon and Jordan Keur each had run-scoring hits.
The RedHawks got to Spartan starter Tony Wieber in the fourth, scoring three runs to cut the margin to 7-4. Wieber struck out five in the first three innings, but gave up three hits and a walk in his last inning in the no decision.
Zwierzynski, a sophomore who made 12 appearances in relief as a freshman, entered the game in the fifth and held Miami off the board in his 2.1 innings while fanning three. Junior southpaw Trey Popp relieved Zwierzynski with one out in the seventh and got two straight groundouts to end the inning before also pitching a scoreless eighth.
Although Miami scored one run in the top of the ninth on two hits, junior Bryce Jenney picked up his second save of the season by closing out the game. With two outs and runners on first and third, Jenney got Nate Bowles to ground into a fielderâ€™s choice to end the RedHawk rally.
Miami starter Brooks Fiala took the loss, dropping his record to 0-2 this season after surrendering seven runs on nine hits in just three innings.
The Spartans return to action Friday, March 11 to face Yale at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Fla. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.