The Spartans continued their momentum from Saturday’s doubleheader by completing a sweep of the Siena Saints in a three-game series, giving them their seventh win in a row.
“It’s hard to sweep,” head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “I think we got a good ball club, but it’s not easy to win three in a row.”
Saturday’s doubleheader was headlined by spectacular pitching for the Spartans, and Sunday showed to be a continuation of that same success, as young arm Cam Vieaux received the start for the Spartans. Vieaux was able to hold Siena to just one unearned run on five hits and one walk in his third start of the season.
“Cam Vieaux just keeps getting better and better the more starts that he gets under his belt,” Boss said. “That number three job was open about three weeks ago and he’s really done a nice job…He’s a guy that wants the ball.”
Vieaux gave up two hits in the first inning before getting into a groove and retiring nine batters in a row. Siena scored their only run of the game in the fourth, when Siena was able to tie up the game on two errors from shortstop Ryan Richardson.
The Spartans were able to get their bats moving in this game, recording five runs on twelve hits.
The first run of the day came on a chopper hit by Joel Fisher into right, which was able to score Cam Gibson from second. Gibson moved into scoring position by stealing second during Fisher’s at bat.
The Spartans then took the lead in the sixth inning on a solo shot from Blaise Salter that was crushed over the left field fence.
“He started me off with three or four straight sliders in the dirt,” said first baseman Salter said. “He was keeping me off balance, keeping me on my front side and it came to a 2-2 count and I was geared up for a fastball and lucky enough, he threw me a fastball and I put a good swing on it.”
Michigan State kept up the pace as they added on three more runs in the seventh. Dan Durkin was the first base runner of the inning, hitting a bloop single into left. Chase Toth entered as a pinch runner and moved to second when Anthony Cheky hit a single into right. Coach Boss took advantage of the speedy duo on base and called for a double steal, which moved both the runners 90 feet and put two in scoring position.
The Saints then intentionally walked Salter, loading the bases for cleanup hitter Jimmy Pickens.
“When you got a guy like Blaise really stroking the ball, they kind of forget about you in the four spot,” Pickens said. “I just went in there knowing what I had to do…I got a pitch down the outer half, and I took it that way and it worked out.”
Indeed it did work out for Pickens, as he crushed a base clearing double into left, scoring three and giving the Spartans a 5-1 lead that would last for the rest of the game.
The Spartans look to continue the momentum this week against two in-state opponents: Central Michigan and Western Michigan. The games will take place at McLane Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Both first pitches are set for 3:05 p.m.
Brett Kast is the co-host of Warning Track for Impact Sports.
Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports