Spartans Win Fifth Straight, Defeat Oakland, 11-2
EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ Junior left fielder Jordan Keur had a career-best four RBIs and tied a career high with four hits to lead the Michigan State baseball team past Oakland, 11-2, Saturday afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium.Â The Spartans (12-7), who have won eight of their last nine and five straight, collected 14 hits overall and scored in every inning but the third.
â€œToday we executed what our approach has been all year,â€ said MSU head coach Jake Boss. â€œI think yesterday we got ourselves out a little bit and swung at pitches that probably werenâ€™t good pitches that we could hit. We were a little bit more selective today and were able to execute the plan. We got into a couple of positions early in the ballgame where we could sacrifice some runners over, and we executed a safety squeeze. Baseball is a game of momentum, so once the ball started rolling for us, things kind of really took off. It was a good day.â€
Keur delivered the first of his RBI hits with a single in the second inning to give MSU a 2-0 lead, but Oakland (3-15) tied it with two runs in the third; however, they were the only runs the Golden Grizzlies could muster against Spartan starter Andrew Waszak. Waszak improved to 2-1 for the season by scattering six hits in his five innings of work.
The Spartans took the lead for good in the third as Keur came through again â€“ this time with a squeeze bunt to bring home Anthony Cheky from first. Cheky went 2-for-3 and scored a season-high three runs.
In the fifth, John Martinez hit an RBI triple to deep right-center and Justin Scanlon had a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 in favor of MSU.
Michigan State extended its lead with solo runs in the sixth and seventh, courtesy of RBI singles from Tony Wieber and Keur, respectively.
MSUâ€™s biggest offensive surge came in the bottom of the eighth, as it plated four runs on five hits, including an RBI double from Scanlon, an RBI triple from Ryan Jones and an RBI single from Keur.
â€œToday was much better,â€ said Keur, who produced his team-high 11th multiple-hit game of the season. â€œI think our team thrived off of what other people were doing and strung some hits together. We had a lot more energy early and kept putting runs on the board, which gets your confidence up. It was good to see and we have to build on that and come out ready to play tomorrow.â€
â€œJordan Keur had a great day today,â€ said Boss. â€œHeâ€™s been very consistent all year.â€
Out of the bullpen, Bryce Jenney pitched three scoreless innings for the second straight outing, and Joe Zwierzynski closed it out in the ninth.
Hayden Fox (0-4), who allowed five runs on five hits in his four innings, suffered the loss for Oakland.