MSU baseball, Hughes looking toward Big Ten play as season heats up
After exploding for 41 runs against Big Ten foe Illinois, the MSU baseball team scuffled its way to a 3-2 loss against Western Michigan University on Tuesday. The loss dropped the Spartans’ record to 15-6, though their Big Ten mark is untouched at a still perfect 3-0.
The flat effort, though, wasn’t because of junior outfielder Brandon Hughes, who hit four home runs in the Spartans’ sweep of Illinois.
Most notably, his three homers in the third game of the series propelled him to earning national recognition.
The Sterling Heights, Mich. native continued his impactful season at the plate as he recorded one run, two hits, an RBI and two stolen bases in Tuesday’s loss.
“He had a decent day,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said after the game. “I think there were a couple at-bats he would like to have back.”
Boss, however, pointed out Hughes’ impact as the leadoff hitter in his lineup. He said while Hughes is hitting well, it’s part of his responsibility to spray the ball around the field.
“As a leadoff hitter, he’s got to be able to put the ball in play consistently and make us go,” Boss said. “So two hits are good. He’s feeling good at the plate right now. At the same time, I think every guy needs to take a look at what they could have done differently to help us win that ballgame (Tuesday).”
After Tuesday’s loss, the Spartans remain atop the Big Ten standings with Minnesota and Indiana. Both teams also hold an undefeated conference record of 3-0.
The Spartans hold the second-best overall record in the Big Ten as their 15-6 record only trails University of Michigan, which holds an 18-6 record. The Wolverines are 1-2 in conference play.
While MSU has dropped some of its games, Boss said he believes his team was in the fight every game.
“You look at every game that we’ve played, as biased as I am, I think we had a chance to win every one of them,” Boss said of the losses the Spartans have suffered thus far this season.
The Spartans will continue their long homestand as MSU will play nine of their next 11 games, including the three-game series this weekend against Minnesota, at home at McLane Baseball Stadium.
“It’s good to play at home,” Boss said. “Our guys are excited to play at home.”