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Saturday, August 23, 2014 | Last updated: 11:32am


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MSU, Lansing communities unite for Crosstown Showdown




jn_bbc_crosstown08_050113

Big Lug sits with fans during the seventh annual Crosstown Showdown on May 1, 2013, at the Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing. The Spartans lost to the Lugnuts 10-2. Julia Nagy/The State News



Lansing — The MSU baseball team fell to the Lansing Lugnuts Wednesday night 10-2 at the seventh-annual Crosstown Showdown.

However, the loss didn’t prevent fans from having a good time.

Human biology senior Anthony Brooks said Cooley Law School Stadium is a great ballpark with an exciting atmosphere for fans to take in the event.

“It’s great to get more exposure between the big leagues and Michigan State and it’s also a great time for both Lugnuts and Michigan State fans,” Brooks said.

The Crosstown Showdown is an annual event that brings together both the Michigan State and Lansing communities through baseball.

This year’s game drew 11,619 fans, falling short of the stadium-record 12,997 fans set during the 2012 Crosstown Showdown — an indication of the event’s popularity.

The game initially was scheduled for April 11th but inclement weather postponed the game. However, there was little chance of a weather delay Wednesday evening, as temperatures reached 80 degrees without any precipitation during the seven-inning exhibition.

A warm evening was highlighted by souvenir baseballs for fans at each stadium entrance, inexpensive beer — causing long lines along the concourse for much of the evening — along with special guest coaches including former MSU men’s basketball player Tim Bograkos and MSU men’s golf coach Casey Lubahn, among others.

The diversity in events at the ballpark were intriguing for many fans including Mike Jenkins, MSU’s Communications Director for the College of Arts and Letters. Jenkins said the dance battle between Sparty and Lugnuts’ mascot Big Lug was one of the more entertaining parts of the game.

“The dance-off between Sparty and the Big Lug on top of the Spartans dugout, that was pretty good,” Jenkins said.

In the event’s history, the Lugnuts now have won five of the seven games with MSU’s lone victories coming in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Even with the Spartans taking on professional baseball players, Tony Walukonis, an athletic training junior who has worked with the Spartan baseball players, said he didn’t expect MSU to be at a disadvantage in the game.

“They are going to be competitive regardless of the competition,” Walukonis said.

The MSU baseball team gets back in action this weekend with a three-game series with Illinois starting at 3:05 p.m. Friday at McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field.


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