Spartan bats come alive in 11-5 victory over Michigan
After MSU lost the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader against Penn State in surprising fashion, the Spartans got back into action on Tuesday afternoon against the University of Michigan. The two rivals scheduled a last-minute non-conference matchup to make up for games that were rained out. The Spartans ended up victorious in their first meeting of the season, by a final score of 11-5.
The Wolverines made it a 1-0 game in their favor in the top half of the third inning. Senior outfielder Matt Ramsay started things off for U-M with a single and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice one batter later. Ramsay would later score after stealing third and advanced home when Spartan third baseman Justin Hovis missed the throw from catcher Matt Byars while junior catcher Harrison Wenson was at the plate.
The Spartans came back for two runs of their own in the bottom half of the third to make the score 2-1. Byars singled to lead off the inning and freshman shortstop Ando Royce reached base on a walk. Freshman center fielder Marty Bechina laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and junior first baseman Jordan Zimmerman was intentionally walked to load the bases. Two batters later, sophomore DH Brandon Hughes singled to the shortstop and runners advanced on an error, making the score 2-1.
Michigan tied the game in the fifth inning to make the score 2-2. Sophomore third baseman Jake Bivens led the inning off with a single and Ramsay doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Junior outfielder Carmen Benedetti grounded out to score the run.
MSU appeared to slam the door on U-M’s chance in the game by capping off the sixth inning with eight runs to pull ahead 10-2. The Spartans bat 11 times in the inning and contributions came all throughout the batting order. The Wolverines used three different pitchers to get through the sixth.
In the eighth, each team added another run to make the score 11-3. In the ninth, U-M added two more off a bases loaded single by senior pinch hitter Dom Jamett to make it 11-5.
Sophomore Keegan Baar started the game for MSU, he lasted only 4.1 innings, while giving up two runs and one earned on seven hits while striking out one and walking one. Sophomore Jake Lowery came in for relief and earned his first win of the season. Lowery lasted 3.2 innings and gave up one earned run on three hits while striking out four. Freshman reliever Riley McCauley closed the game out by retiring the last two batters of the game.
MSU will play another in-state opponent, Central Michigan, on Wednesday at Comerica Park in Detroit. The Chippewas will enter the contest 7-25 on the season and have only won three of their last ten games. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and coverage will be provided through the Spartan Sports Network.