A day after defeating the Michigan Wolverines (21-16 overall, 6-6 Big Ten) by a score of 4-2 in the same stadium, the baseball team (19-16 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) fell to Central Michigan (25-12 overall, 10-2 MAC) on Wednesday night, 8-7.
Leading 7-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Spartans fell apart at the end of the game. The Chippewas scored two in the eighth and six in the ninth for the come from behind victory.
The Spartans looked unstoppable early, the team scored in each of the first five innings putting up two in the third and one in the rest of the five. They also added one in the top of the eighth for what normally would have been a comfortable lead.
The starting pitching was solid for MSU, freshman Keegan Bar went 5.1 innings, only allowing 3 hits and no runs. It was the relief pitching that ultimately doomed the team, the Spartans had three pitchers earn only one out in their appearances.
Freshman outfielder and pitcher Brandon Hughes was roughed up in his outing. Hughes could only manage 0.1 innings of work, giving up four runs in the process. Junior pitcher Anthony Misiewicz also managed just 0.1 innings, giving up two runs.
With the game at stake and the lead slipping away senior closer Jeff Kinley was brought in to end the CMU threat, but Kinley couldn't get it done, allowing the final two runs in the Chippewas comeback efforts.
Kinley much like Misiewicz pitched just 0.1 innings and allowed two runs, Kinley was charged with the loss but it was a joint effort from a poor bullpen showing.
The Spartans may have left some offense on the board as, senior first baseman Ryan Krill, who has been on fire as of late, went 0-for-5 at the plate.
Senior catcher and first baseman Blaise Salter, who Krill is tied with in first for total RBI on the team with 30, picked up some of the slack yesterday. Salter went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI.
The Spartans will have to move on quickly as they have a three-game weekend series with conference for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (12-23-1 overall, 5-7 Big Ten). Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint and the loss to CMU is a bump in the road but the Spartans are still in good shape, having won seven of their last nine regular-season games.
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