MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. â€“ In the rubber game of the season series, the Michigan State baseball team defeated Central Michigan, 5-2, Wednesday afternoon at Theunissen Stadium.
Red-shirt freshman Chase Rihtarchik (1-2) earned his first career win after allowing just two runs on seven hits in his five innings, while Torsten Boss led MSU (31-15) at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a solo homer. Tony Wieber closed out the game with his team-leading seventh save of the season with a perfect 1-2-3 ninth.
CMU (26-22) won the first meeting this season, 3-1, on March 30 at McLane Baseball Stadium, but MSU came back with its own 3-1 win at the â€œClash at Comericaâ€ on April 20 in Detroit.
In addition to Boss, Brandon Eckerle and Jeff Holm also had multiple-hit games with two hits apiece, and Andrew Carpenter hit his fourth homer of the season. The Spartans out-hit the Chippewas, 9-8.
Ryan Longstreth (1-4) took the loss for CMU after surrendering four hits and two runs in four innings.
Michigan State got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third as Carpenter delivered a solo shot down the right-field line. The Dayton, Ohio, native is third on the team this season with four home runs.
MSU went up 2-0 in the fourth as Holm singled, stole his 20th base of the season, and came home on a Boss RBI single.
The Chippewas finally got to Rihtarchik with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but MSU came right back with an unearned run in the fifth to make it 3-1.
Central Michigan trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the bottom half of the fifth as Tyler Hall tripled and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Spartan bullpen did the rest, not allowing another run to score. Joe Zwierzynski pitched a scoreless sixth and Jeff Kinley didnâ€™t allow a hit in his two innings in the seventh and eighth. Wieber fanned two in the ninth for the save.
Meanwhile, the MSU offense gave the bullpen some room to work with single runs in the eighth and ninth. Eckerle came around to score in the eighth on a single, stolen base, wild pitch and finally an RBI single off the bat of Ryan Jones. In the ninth, Boss hit his sixth homer of the season, a solo blast to right field.
The first-place Spartans return to Big Ten action for a three-game series at Indiana this weekend (May 13-15) in Bloomington, Ind. The series begins Friday at 3 p.m., while Saturdayâ€™s game at 3 p.m. will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.