Thursday, May 23, 2024

Spartan baseball team sweeps Eastern, Big Ten championship may be in reach

YPSILANTI - The Spartan baseball team glided to two easy wins over the Eastern Michigan Eagles Wednesday at Oestrike Stadium.

MSU, now 12-8, forced Eastern’s season record to 4-17.

The Spartans shot out to a comfortable lead during the first game of the doubleheader, working their way to a score of 7-2 going into the seventh inning.

Then at the top of the seventh MSU drove home the victory when they doubled their score to 14-2, while the Eagles went through five pitchers with no success.

An early lead in game two put the Spartans up 3-1 in the first inning. They stayed ahead, adding two runs in the second and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

At the end of the second game, the Eagles had scored only two runs, leaving the score 8-2.

Eastern head coach Roger Coryell was surprised by MSU’s strength, but had very little to say.

“I’ve never seen them play before,” he said. “They should win the Big Ten.”

Ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten, the Spartans are closing the gap on the No. 1 Michigan.

Despite the Eagles’ loss, their team is not without merit. Eastern senior pitcher Phil Kommer managed two scoreless innings in the second game before giving up a run in the fifth inning.

“They’re a good running team,” Spartan head coach Ted Mahan said. “But they were always behind.”

Mahan said his team’s lead gave it the chance to steal bases, a skill at which the Spartans excelled.

He also pointed out that even though the team played well, there are areas that need improvement.

“We left guys on third with one out,” he said. “We’ve been pretty good in that situation, but today we weren’t.”

Junior Kyle Geswein, a designated hitter, said he wasn’t surprised at all by the win.

“Their pitching didn’t seem like they had a lot of experience,” he said.

He said being aggressive was something the Spartans were looking to work on, and Wednesday’s game proved they had succeeded.

“We put a little pressure on them,” Mahan said. “That’s something we need to do, we need to be aggressive.”

Highlights of the first game were junior Jared Koutnik’s three-run homer in the second inning and a high-scoring seventh inning, when Geswein started racking up the runs with a two-run homer and finished the inning off with a second home run.

The second game didn’t boast as much scoring, but the Spartans still dominated. Freshman Scott Koerber, sophomore Bob Malek, and Koutnik all hit singles to put the first inning’s three runs on the scoreboard.

The Spartans play their first home game on Friday against Purdue, and will follow up with a doubleheader on Saturday and another game on Sunday.

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