Fans brave cold for Crosstown Showdown despite MSU loss
“We follow Michigan State sports pretty rabidly, and so we try to bring these kids up and their mother went to Michigan State and their uncles went to Michigan State,” Edward Bussa said. “We’re pretty much tied to them.”
Braving sub-40 degree weather and the forecast of rain and snow, students and local fans gathered at Cooley Law School Stadium to watch the eighth annual Crosstown Showdown exhibition game between the MSU baseball team and the Lugnuts.
Rain hit the area earlier in the day, along with cold temperatures and small gusts of wind, but Spartan players and fans braved the cold.
The Spartans now are 2-6 against the Lugnuts, last winning the matchup in 2011.
The crowd was sparse as a result of the poor weather, but fans, students and alumni were passionate as they rooted for their respective teams. To perhaps no one’s surprise, the pro-MSU crowd was both the loudest and most numerous.
Fans stood and clapped when the MSU fight song played prior to the ceremonial pitch, thrown by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson.
Chemistry freshman Benjamin Thompson, a member of the MSU marching band, was thankful to be able to play a key role in his first Crosstown Showdown.
“It makes it a lot more worthy to be available,” Thompson said. “I’m always there to support my team wherever we go.”
MSU was heading into the game on a season-high winning streak of four games. The Spartans knocked off Eastern Michigan on the road on Tuesday night a day before beating Oakland in the team’s home opener.
The Lugnuts led the Spartans 2-1 through the fourth inning after taking out three MSU batters in order to end the 4th.
Junior outfielder Anthony Cheky drove in senior catcher Joel Fisher to score the Spartans’ lone run through the 4th inning.
The Lugnuts later stretched their lead to 3-2 in the 7th inning, a lead they wouldn’t give back.
Although Edward and Charlene Buss are not Spartan alumni themselves, they hail from a Spartan family and are pushing their grandkids to become green and white fans as they grow up. Collin and Lucas, who are from Mason, were both dressed in Spartan gear.
“We figured the weather wasn’t going to be that good, but we were excited and we wanted to take the boys,” Edward Bussa said.
Mason resident Dan Hills, a Lansing Lugnuts season ticket holder for 10 years, was decked in Spartan gear as he talked about his support for the college team.
“The Lugnuts usually give them a good time for their money,” Hills said.
“It’s pretty cold out here, but we’re going to beat the weather tonight.”