Spartans swept by Wolverines
Play the right way. It’s a cliched but simple message preached by coaches in all sports. MSU baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr., has been beating his team over the head with it this season.
But standing in left field with the team circled around him Sunday at McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field, Boss gave his team another message: they simply don’t understand the “right way” to play.
After watching his team (17-11 overall, 2-4 Big Ten) drop a 6-2 game against Michigan to complete the weekend sweep, Boss lamented a weekend of inconsistent hitting, poor defense and an overall inattention to detail.
“(He said) ‘Well that’s no way to win a ball game,’” said sophomore pitcher Mick VanVossen, who took the loss Sunday. “And if we continue to put at-bats together like we have, we’re not gonna score runs and the defense has been sloppy and we gotta step it up.”
This was the first sweep by U-M that Boss has suffered since becoming head coach in 2008. It also marks the first series sweep against the MSU since Texas A&M did it in March 2012.
Having apologized for the team’s effort after a 6-3 loss Friday, the sentiment was the same for Boss on Sunday, who said the team fell victim to many of the same mistakes that have plagued them all year.
“I’m embarrassed number one; I feel like I need to apologize to another great crowd that came out today on a cold day to support us,” Boss said. “We certainly don’t play the game the right way right now and that’s on me. I’ve got to figure out a way to get these guys to play the right way.
“I beg our fans to continue to support us … we’ve got good kids and they do work hard, but there needs to be a better purpose to their work and we’ve got a lot of young guys who don’t quite understand that yet.”
The Wolverines struck MSU early Sunday, hammering a two-run home run over the right field fence by left fielder Zach Zott. The team also manufactured runs in the third and sixth innings to take a four-run lead in the game.
Trying to claw back, senior left fielder Jordan Keur and junior catcher Joel Fisher each hit sacrifice fly RBIs to get the Spartans on the board in the sixth inning.
U-M tacked on two more in the ninth and the Spartans put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth but stranded both.
“It always stings more being from (Michigan) State but baseball is baseball,” Pickens said.
The Spartans take on Western Michigan at 3:05 p.m. tomorrow at McLane Baseball Stadium.