Last year it was the Chippewas who came out of Detroit with the last laugh, but on Wednesday night the Spartans claimed victory in the sixth annual Clash at Comerica between MSU and CMU. MSU improved to 23-6 on the season while defeating the Chippewas by a final score of 7-3 after 14 innings of play.
CMU opened up scoring in the bottom of the first inning and got out to an early 1-0 lead. MSU starter Andrew Gonzalez struck out the side in the first inning but gave up doubles to sophomore shortstop Zach McKinstry and Daniel Robinson to give up the opening score.
The Spartans answered back in the top of the second inning, where they scored two runs and took a 2-1 lead. Senior outfielder Kris Simonton led the inning off with a single and senior third baseman Justin Hovis followed him with a single of his own. Junior catcher Matt Byars laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and then freshman shortstop Ando Royce walked, but Simonton scored off a wild pitch that counted as ball four. Freshman center fielder Marty Bechina flew out to center and Hovis scored to make it 2-1.
MSU scored another in the third inning, making it 3-1. Junior second baseman Dan Durkin led the inning off with a double and sophomore DH Brandon Hughes singled off a line drive single. Three batters later, Hovis flied out and Durkin scored.
The Chippewas added another run in the bottom half of the third, making the score 3-2. Junior first baseman Alex Borglin walked to lead the inning off. McKinstry reached on a fielder’s choice and Borglin was called safe after Royce dropped the potential double play ball. Two batters later, Robinson grounded out to the second baseman but Borglin scored.
CMU tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh. McKinstry singled with one out in the inning and then the next batter, sophomore outfielder Daniel Jipping doubled down the right field line and McKinstry scored on an error by Simonton.
The Spartans finally broke the gridlock after five extra innings. In the top of the 14th MSU loaded the bases for Hughes who hit two in with a base hit to left. Junior outfielder Taylor Grace hit a sacrifice fly to hit another in and Simonton singled to left to make it 7-3 in MSU's favor.
Freshman reliever Riley McCauley finished the game on the Mound for the Spartans. He retired the order side to pick up the first win of his collegiate career.
Next up for the Spartans will be a three game weekend road series against Purdue. MSU will travel out to West Lafayette for the series, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. Coverage for the series can be found on the Spartan Sports Network.
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