Baseball drops Crosstown Showdown to the Lansing Lugnuts 9-4
After a 30 minute rain delay a night of fun began in downtown Lansing at the Cooley Law School Stadium the MSU baseball team took on the Lansing Lugnuts, the Toronto Blue Jays Class A minor league affiliate in the ninth annual Crosstown Showdown.
The Spartans ended up dropping the game to Lansing 9-4.
"Great night as a whole, another first-class event that (the Lugnuts) put on, nobody knew whether the weather would hold (up) or not but thankfully it did...it was a good time for our guys," head coach Jake Boss Jr. said.
The rain limited attendance to just 4,883 people, but after the delay, those that showed up were rewarded with a nice fairly warm night.
"It turned out to be pretty nice after the rain held off, it turned out to be pretty warm (and) it was probably one of the warmest days we've had in a while," senior first baseman Ryan Krill said.
The game marks one of the first times of the year for students and members of the community to get out of the house as the weather begins to break.
The night featured plenty of fun and antics, including both East Lansing mayor Nathan Triplett and Lansing mayor Virgil Bernero throwing out the first pitch, fans of all ages, other Spartan athletes coming out to enjoy the night, a mascot dance-off and much more.
The Spartans started the game on fire as the first four MSU batters hit through the cycle en route to a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
"We've seen some really good arms this year and our guys were ready,"Boss said on his teams hot start. "It was a good chance just for our guys to kind of relax and play without any pressure of having to worry about winning or losing."
The Lugnuts answered with one in the bottom of the second, and four in the third to take a 5-3 lead over MSU through three innings of play.
The fifth inning saw the Spartans reduce the gap to one but the Lugnuts added two more in the bottom of the frame to take a 7-4 lead after five.
Lansing added two more in the next inning to take a 9-4 lead and that is where it would ultimately stay. Despite the result the Spartans were able to take a lot of positives from the night.
The annual exhibition match is a great chance for the entire team to get some experience. With the showdown falling in between a week of regular-season play for MSU, the Spartans didn't want to spend their starters on a game that is just for fun.
It is also good for the players in that it is a chance to square off against upper-level professional talent. The Spartans get to experience what it takes to be a professional and they get to watch how they go about doing things differently.
"Tonight's more about the experience of playing against a pro organization, against a first class ball club in a beautiful facility," Boss said.