GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team opened the season with a four-run first inning but the Michigan State offense was too much for the Blue Hose on Friday at Fluor Field, as the Spartans claimed an 11-5 win to open 2016. PC is back in action on Saturday with a 4 p.m. meeting with Fordham in its second game of the First Pitch Invitational.
Peter Johnson led PC at the plate with a 2-for-3 day with an RBI, while Cletis Avery hit a solo home run in his first PC at-bat to get the team on the board. Four other Blue Hose players recorded hits in the season opener, including Brett Auckland and Nick Wise, playing in their first games for PC.
Michigan State totaled 16 hits in the win with three-hit games from Marty Bechina, Alex Troop and Jake Kruk. MSU starter Cam Vieaux (1-0) earned the win, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits. PC starter Tanner Chock (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched.
The Blue Hose opened the game with a four-run first inning to take an early lead. Avery homered to left with two outs, just three batters in to the game, to put PC up 1-0. Nick Wise followed with a single in first his PC at-bat and Weston Jackson made it back-to-back hits with a double to left, putting runners on second and third.
Jacob Midkiff then scored two as the first baseman misplayed a sharply hit ball, which allowed Midkiff to reach and both runners to score. He then advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Johnson then singled to right, scoring Midkiff from second to give PC a 4-0 lead.
Michigan State came out swinging, scoring one in the first, five in the second and one in the third to take a 7-4 lead. The key play for the Spartans was a three-run home run by Bechina in second that tied the game at 4-4 at the time.
The Spartans added three runs in the sixth to extend its lead to 10-4. Back-to-back doubles to start the inning plated one, followed by a sac fly to score the second. Bechina drove in his fourth run of the game later in the inning with a two-out single to center.
PC added a run in the seventh on a bases load, RBI walk by Jackson to make it to 10-5 with just one out in the inning. Michigan State would call upon Dakota Mekkes, who recorded a groundout and a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Michigan State added a run in the eighth, as Royce Ando tripled with one out and then came home on a balk to push it to the final score of 11-5.
Michael Trebendis tossed a scoreless seventh inning for PC, needing just 11 pitches to retire the side in his first appearance of the season. Hunter Kyzar tossed 2.2 innings for PC in his first game as a Blue Hose, while freshman Colton Springs tossed an inning in his first collegiate game.