Spartans Shut Out Purdue, 11-0
WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana – A pair of big innings and a shutdown performance from starting pitcher Cam Vieaux were more than enough for the Michigan State baseball team to top Purdue, 11-0, in the series opener between the teams on Friday night at Alexander Field. The Spartans pounded out 17 hits while posting their fifth shutout of the season in improving to 24-6 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play.
“I thought it was a pretty good night overall from top to bottom,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. “We had a lot of multi-hit games from a lot of guys. It started early and put pressure on them and it was important for us to get the lead tonight and play from ahead.”
The Spartans opened the scoring in the top of the third courtesy of a wild pitch from Purdue starter Gavin Downs that allowed Marty Bechina to come home.
MSU manufactured another run in the top of the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. Kris Simonton led off with a single, stole second base, took third on a passed ball and then scored on an RBI groundout by Matt Byars.
Michigan State broke open the game with four runs in the top of the fifth to up the advantage to 6-0. Zimmerman followed a leadoff walk to Bechina with a two-run homer to left field to double the MSU lead. An RBI triple by Brandon Hughes scored Dan Durkin and an RBI groundout by Taylor Grace plated Hughes.
An RBI single by Durkin got things going in the eighth inning and after a walk and single loaded the bases, Simonton tripled down the left field line, plating three more runs. Justin Hovis drove in the fifth run of the inning with an RBI single to make it 11-0.
Vieaux struck out four and didn’t issue a walk, improving to 6-1 in tossing his second-career complete game. His complete-game effort was much appreciated after the Spartans’ 14-inning game on Wednesday.
“He knew he had to go a while tonight,” said Boss. “He doesn’t like to come out. It was big to get outs early and he also got a couple double plays. He made the decision very easy for us to run him back out in the ninth inning.”
Purdue’s best scoring chance came in the bottom of the sixth when Brett Carlson smacked a one-on, two-out double to left center field. Kyle Wood looked like he might score on the play, but was thrown out at home trying to score, ending the inning.
Zimmerman and Simonton both finished the game 3-for-5.
The Spartans and Boilermakers (4-26, 0-10) will play game two of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m.