On a beautiful Tuesday night in Detroit at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, the baseball team (19-15 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) defeated the Michigan Wolverines (21-15 overall, 6-6 Big Ten) 4-2 in the only meeting between the rivals this season.
"Our guys played well...we had some big at bats, Ryan (Krill) is seeing the ball well right now," head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "When you play the game of baseball I think everybody dreams of playing at this level and this is another taste for our guys and their guys of what it's like to play at this level."
U-M was better early as the Wolverines starting pitcher junior Evan Hill retired the first seven MSU batters before a single from freshman outfielder Brandon Hughes with one out in the bottom of the third.
Despite the strong start by Hill the Spartans were able to strike first. Senior first baseman Ryan Krill doubled to lead off the fourth, a groundout to follow advanced Krill to third and a RBI single from senior infielder Ryan Richardson brought home Krill to give MSU a 1-0 lead.
The Wolverines answered in the fifth with two to take a brief 2-1 lead. A two RBI single from junior infielder Travis Maezes gave Michigan its first runs of the night.
MSU would not trail for long as the Spartans answered right back in the bottom of the fifth with two of their own to make it 3-2. With freshman infielder and catcher Chad Roskelly on third and freshman infielder Kory Young on second, the Spartans reclaimed the lead off of a two RBI double from Krill.
After the fifth starting pitcher for MSU freshman Alex Troop was done, he finished with 5.0 innings pitched, three strikeouts all while giving up just two runs. Sophomore pitcher Joe Mockbee was brought in to replace Troop.
Mockbee was excellent in his relief efforts, providing the Spartans with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. After walking consecutive batters senior closer Jeff Kinley was brought in to replace Mockbee with the opportunity to earn a 4-out save.
Kinley successfully ended the threat in the eighth and senior infielder Mark Weist provided MSU with an insurance run after scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth to give MSU a 4-2 lead.
That is where it would ultimately stay as Kinley delivered a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win for the Spartans.
"Im kind of used to it, coming into a (high) pressure situation knowing I need to get that one out in the eighth just to get a clean inning in the ninth," Kinley said. "I came in (and) got the out (in the eighth) and then I knew from there I just had to get the first out in the ninth and it rolls from there."
MSU will return to Detroit again tomorrow to take on Central Michigan (24-12 overall, 10-2 MAC) at 7:05 p.m.
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