COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan State opened the Big Ten season with a series win over Ohio State after a 7-2 victory in the rubber-game on Sunday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium. The Spartans (15-8, 2-1) got a complete game out of sophomore Mick VanVossen, the first of his career. He allowed seven hits and just two runs against the Buckeyes.
“It’s big, especially on the road,” head coach Jake Boss said of winning the series. “Ohio State is a good ball club and it’s a tough place to play down here. For us to come out with two wins, we consider that a very good weekend against a very good team. As poorly as we played yesterday, we have to give our guys credit because we played very well today and it was good to see.”
The Spartans scored first in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Anthony Cheky and then added three more in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead.
Freshman Cam Gibson reached first on an error and later scored on a passed ball, before senior Joel Fisher doubled to left center, plating Ryan Richardson. Sophomore Blaise Salter came through with the third hit of the inning, a single to right field that scored Fisher.
“He had a pretty good weekend and he had some big hits today,” Boss said of Fisher. “We moved some things around in the lineup to try and get more production out of it. (Anthony) Cheky and (Jimmy) Pickens also came through and Fisher set the tone early. It was a good day today offensively.”
Sophomore Jimmy Pickens broke the game open with a 2-run homer to right field, his third of the season. The Spartans added another in the eighth on a sac fly from Ryan Krill and headed into the ninth with a commanding 7-0 lead.
Ohio State scored its only two runs in the last inning of the game, an RBI single from Jacob Bosiokovic and another RBI single from Brad Halberg. VanVossen retired the final batter on a fielder’s choice, ending the threat and sealing the series for the Spartans; he allowed just two runs and had one strikeout.
“Mick was very efficient and threw a lot of strikes” Boss said. “He got ahead in the count and threw all three pitches for strikes. They hit a couple balls hard too and we made some plays defensively for him. Mick was in control the whole way and was really impressive.”
Next up, Michigan State will host Central Michigan on Tuesday, April 2 at 3:05 p.m., at McLane Stadium.