GREENVILLE, S.C. - Michigan State scored three runs in the seventh inning and added one more in the ninth to seal its first win of the season, 7-4 over Northwestern, Sunday at Fluor Field.
Junior David Garner threw six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs, although just one was earned. He also added five strikeouts for the Spartans. Blaise Salter had the only multi-hit game for MSU, going 2-4 with a pair of singles and an RBI.
"It was a good win," head coach Jake Boss said. "It wasn't particularly well played on either end. We realize that there is still a lot of work to be done. Any win is a good win and I thought we pitched really well. Garner, (Anthony) Misiewicz, (Trey) Popp, (Justin) Alleman and (Jeff) Kinley all threw really well. We didn't help them out defensively but at the same time we got a couple clutch hits when we needed them."
The Spartans had two errors in the game while the Wildcats committed four.
The Spartan broke open the scoreless game in the fifth inning after Ryan Richardson was hit by a pitch leading off and Anthony Cheky followed up with a single for the Spartans. John Martinez laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Richardson and Jordan Keur drove in Cheky with a single. Keur went on to steal third base and scored on an RBI single from Blaise Salter.
Northwestern scored its first run of the game in the sixth and led off the inning with a double from Zach Morton. The Wildcats advanced Morton on a sacrifice bunt and he scored off another sacrifice bunt by Colby Everett, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Jimmy Pickens hit an RBI double that scored senior John Martinez in the top of the seventh. Salter was walked and both he and Pickens both scored on a Northwestern error.
The Wildcats added three runs in the bottom of the inning, cutting the MSU lead to 6-4. Jack Mitchell knocked in two runs with an RBI double off Anthony Misiewicz, scoring both Luke Dauch and Reid Hunter.
MSU added a run in the ninth off an RBI single by Ryan Richardson that scored Cam Gibson who was pinch running for Joel Fisher.
Jeff Kinley came in with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and had to work himself out of a jam to get his first save of the season. Although Kinley walked his first batter to load the bases, a force out at second base ended the game, giving MSU the victory.
Also pitching in relief were Justin Alleman and Trey Popp. Alleman struck out three batters in his 1 1/3 innings of work, while Popp recorded one out in the ninth.
The Spartans return to Greenville next weekend and will face Western Carolina, Cincinnati, Furman and Miami-Ohio.