MSU uses late inning heroics to sweep Rutgers in weekend series
The MSU baseball team couldn’t have asked for a better day on Easter Sunday. From the perfect weather, to a chance to complete a sweep of Rutgers, MSU looked to start off Big Ten play 3-0.
But things didn’t look promising at the beginning of Sunday’s game. Junior starting pitcher Walter Borkovich was looking to rebound from his last start against USF, where the righty was knocked out of the contest after only pitching one inning and giving up six hits and five runs in doing so.
Borkovich once again started the game in hot water. Rutgers got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Rutgers had runners at second and third and Borkovich balked a run in. In the second, the Scarlet Knights made it a 5-0 game and Borkovich was struggling to make it into the third inning.
“I was just trying to clear my head,” Borkovich said. “Those innings are over and there’s nothing you can do about it, and I just wanted to keep our team in a position to win.”
And Borkovich would do exactly that. He finished the afternoon on a very high note by retiring the next sixteen batters he faced. By the end of his outing, Borkovich had set the tone for the Spartan offense to take the lead and they did just that. Marty Bechina and Jordan Zimmerman both hit home runs in the seventh inning, and that was enough for Borkovich to come away with his fourth win of the season — a win he deserved for his efforts.
“I’m really proud of (Borkovich),” head coach Jake Boss said. “I took him to task a little bit last week after a bad start down in Florida. We figured that it was time to see what he was made of and he showed us that today… Walter bought in and settled into it and was really really good.”
The late inning heroics of the game on Sunday plays precisely into the tone of MSU’s season so far. Now after sweeping Rutgers, they are 18-3 on the season and Jake Boss and co. will look forward to play Oakland University on Tuesday and host Oregon at home for a three game set.
Oregon 11-9 overall and they are 3-7 in their last 10 games, but don’t be fooled — The Ducks are a good team. Before their slump, Oregon was ranked ahead of the Spartans in the USA Today’s coaches poll earlier this month and they have a lot of potential.
But as it stands, MSU is undefeated in the Big Ten, and they appear ready for any challenge.
“It was Big Ten play and we were looking to come out ready,” Bechina said. “We know these games are huge. We battled again today and credit to our guys, all we do is battle.”