Spartans lose close midweek matchup against Notre Dame
The Spartans lost their third straight midweek matchup on Tuesday after suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of Notre Dame at Frank Eck Stadium.
The loss halted a three-game win streak for MSU (18-11 overall). The Spartans have now lost six of their last 10, five of which were decided by one run. With the win, Notre Dame (14-17 overall) has won seven of its last eight home games.
“We pitched well enough to win, but we didn’t defend well enough to win and we didn’t swing the bat well enough to win,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said, according to a press release by MSU Athletic Communications. “If you only allow two runs, you should win the ballgame. We left too many opportunities on the field, we had too many guys with bad approaches at the plate at the wrong time, and that equals another one-run loss for us.”
Freshman right-hander Mike Mokma started the game and lasted 3.1 innings, allowed one earned run and was handed a no decision. Senior pitcher Walter Borkovich relieved Mokma and gave up the winning run and was handed the loss. Fellow senior Joe Mockbee and junior Jake Lowery helped close out the game without allowing another run.
MSU put out eight hits, led by junior center fielder Brandon Hughes, who went 2-for-2 with a double and a stolen base. Junior first baseman Zack McGuire finished the game 1-for-4, but hit his team-leading 11th double of the season.
Sophomore right fielder Dan Chmielewski finished 1-for-2 and senior second baseman Dan Durkin went 1-for-3.
MSU put up a run in the top of the first after freshman left fielder Bruce Kelley hit a leadoff single of southpaw Scott Tully. Kelley stole second and third and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Hughes.
Notre Dame tied the game in the second after Matt Vierling took Mokma deep to leadoff the inning.
Mokma was chased out of the game after allowing a one-out single and a walk in the fourth. Borkovich came on and allowed a walk, but got out of the bases loaded jams after back-to-back groundouts to keep the game tied.
Notre Dame took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, after taking advantage of a hit and an error, then a double steal to score the go-ahead run. The run was charged to Borkovich as unearned.
MSU was unable to score despite putting leadoff runners on in he eighth and ninth, squandering any chance of a rally.
The Spartans will return to McLane Baseball Stadium and welcome the Ohio State University Buckeyes for a three-game series starting Friday. First pitch for Friday's game is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Although the games are still scheduled to be played at McLane, flooding around the field caused by the recent rains could play a factor as to whether or not the series is played there.
Stay with The State News for any developments to schedule or location changes.