For the first time, the Spartans came up short under the bright lights of Comerica Park.
A six-run eighth inning led to a comeback 7-4 victory for Central Michigan University's Chippewas at the fourth annual Clash at Comerica in Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich. Tuesday night.
"Lost another close ball game," head coach Jake Boss Jr. said after the game. "Let it get away from us in the eighth, something that has happened on more than one occasion this year. It's a situation where we have opportunities to make plays and we don't get it done, and it's very frustrating."
Boss added that the opportunity to play at Comerica Park annually is an opportunity that his players do not take for granted.
"It's a lot of fun playing here, no question about it," Boss said. "It's something that our guys will remember for the rest of their lives and I remember as a kid going out to Tiger Stadium, and it's something I'll never forget at 7, 8 years old."
Redshirt junior shortstop Ryan Richardson led the Spartans with two RBI's on two hits. Center fielder Nick Regnier and third baseman Morgan Oliver had two each for Central Michigan.
Redshirt senior left-hander Chase Rihtarchik pitched the first 3.1 innings and allowed a single run. Freshman right-hander Jake Lowery pitched 3.2 and allowed 0 runs. Sophomore left-hander Anthony Misiewicz allowed six runs in .1 innings pitched.
Central Michigan pitcher Adam Aldred pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs.
Junior outfielder Jimmy Pickens made a highlight-reel sliding catch at right field to hand Central Michigan its first out of the evening.
Rihtarchik started the game rough, hitting Nick Regnier with a pitch and walking Tyler Huntey two at-bats later. Logan Regnier hit a grounder in an attempt to load the bases but was outed at shortstop, ending the first inning.
Senior catcher Joel Fisher was walked by Aldred, and junior first baseman Ryan Krill hit a single on fielder's choice, advancing Fisher to second following a throwing error at first base.
Richardson proceeded to hit a two-RBI double deep to center field, scoring Krill and Fisher to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
PIckens made a carbon copy of his highlight sliding catch at the bottom of the third, outing Nick Regnier.
Zack Fields hit an RBI single at the bottom of the fourth, scoring Central Michigan's first run of the night. Logan Regnier put himself into scoring position on the run, stealing second base after being walked by Rihtarchik, and then leaving third base and bolting for home following a throwing error at right field.
The Spartans missed a scoring opportunity at the top of the seventh, stranding two on base.
CMU used a six-RBI eighth inning to take a game-sealing lead. Huntey tied the game at the bottom of the eighth, 2-2, hitting a single-RBI double down the right field line to score Pat MacKenzie.
Cody Leichman advanced Huntey to third on a bunt and reached first on fielder's choice. Logan Regnier proceeded to score Huntey on fielder's choice, giving CMU a 3-2 lead.
Oliver hit a two-RBI single to left field to put the game out of reach. Oliver's hit scored Logan Regnier and Neal Jacobs, pushing the lead to 5-2.
Nate Regnier put the finishing touches on the win with a two-RBI triple to left-center field, scoring Oliver and Alex Borglin.
Late runs scored by sophomore outfielder Cam Gibson and junior outfielder Anthony Cheky weren't enough to overcome CMU's huge eighth inning.