Baseball Rockets past Toledo to Recover from Weekend Sweep

Michigan State rocketed back after a weekend sweep, with a win over Toledo Tuesday.

The Spartans suffered an embarrassing weekend sweep at the hands of Indiana, and they were back on the field Tuesday afternoon with some vengeance. The Toledo Rockets were their prey.  Michigan State was able to regain their stride against the Rockets as they pulled out a 4-2 win.

“Efficient was probably the right word,” MSU coach Jake Boss Jr. said regarding how the team played. “We showed signs, I think we’re getting closer.”

Freshman lefty Joe Mockbee was on the mound for the Spartans as he looked to improve on his already impressive numbers this year.

Michigan State got out to an early lead as the Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ryan Krill, Jimmy Pickens and Blaise Salter all recorded RBI’s in the inning as MSU came out strong with a 3-0 lead after one.

Mockbee got off to a good start only allowing one hit and one walk over three innings of work. However, Coach Boss pulled Mockbee in the fourth inning as he gave up an RBI groundout by Toledo’s Jacob North, scoring Tyler Baar who doubled earlier in the inning.

Mockbee was not credited with the eventual win, but did pitch well on the mound, and is one of the many bright spots in the young Spartan bullpen.

“Mockbee’s gonna be pretty good down the road, I think he’s very very close,” Boss said. ”If he can command the strike zone consistently, he’s gonna have a great career here.”

Michigan State would add a run of their own in the fourth inning as Cam Gibson singled, bringing in third baseman Justin Hovis.

“It’s good to be back home, I talked to coach and he said wherever I am just do what I do and that’s get on base,” Gibson said.

And get on base he did. Gibson was on an absolute tear in this one, reaching base four times and recording three hits.

Toledo scored their second and last run of the game as Baar brought Ryan Callahan in to score on a bloop single to right-center field. Redshirt senior Chase Rihtarchik, who came in for Mockbee, was done for the day as he gave up the run and three hits, one of which was a triple by Callahan to start the rally.

That was as close as the Rockets got as Jeff Kinley came in during the eighth inning and closed out the game for the Spartans

Freshman Jake Lowery would be credited with the win after his perfect outing over 2 1/3 innings.

It was a much needed win for the Spartans as they improved to 21-17 on the year and look towards this weekend as they face Big Ten foe Northwestern at McLane Stadium.

The three-game series begins Friday, April 25 at 3:05 p.m.

Zac Swierad is the host of Warning Track for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports