GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Matt Lazzaro pitched seven strong innings and earned his first collegiate victory in leading Furman past Michigan State, 3-2, in baseball action Friday evening in the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field.
The win was the fourth straight and sixth triumph in the last seven games for Furman (9-5), which will face Illinois in a Saturday, 1:00 p.m. contest at Fluor Field.
Lazzaro (1-2), a freshman left-hander from Marietta, Ga., allowed one run on four hits while striking out a season high eight Spartans before departing with a 3-1 lead. He threw 106 pitches, including 76 strikes in taming the Michigan State's bats.
The former Lassiter High School standout allowed only two singles thru the first six innings before yielding a one-out single and a ground rule double in the seventh that led to Michigan State's first run on an RBI grounder. He rebounded by getting Royce Ando on a ground out to end the inning with Furman leading 3-1.
Tyler Kimbrell took over for Lazzaro in the eighth and quickly recorded a pair of outs before a walk and stolen base led to a run that trimmed Furman's lead to 3-2. Kimbrell retired the Spartans in order in the ninth, striking out Zach McGuire to end the game and notch his second save of the season.
The Paladins grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when Jason Costa, who reached on an infield single, sprinted home on a wild pitch. Furman's bid for more in the frame, which featured two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch, was cut short with an inning ending double play.
Furman made it 2-0 in the fifth when freshman Ben Anderson tripled into the right center field gap and came home on a Sims Griffith single through the left side of a drawn-in Spartan infield.
The Paladins upped their lead to 3-0 in the sixth, combining three singles to score Brandon Elmy on a Bret Huebner ground ball that bounded past Michigan State's middle infielders, neither of whom made a play on the ball near second base.
Furman out-hit Michigan State 8-5, led by Elmy's 2-for-4 performance. Anderson's triple, his third of the season, extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Ethan Landon (0-3) was charged with the loss for Michigan State (3-10), surrendering all three runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struggled with command, issuing five walks while striking out four.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information