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Vieaux pulled early in game one against Wolverines

April 30, 2016
Junior left-handed pitcher Cam Vieaux (36) and senior infielder Justin Hovis (8) gather at the mound during a stoppage of play during the game against Michigan on April 29, 2016 at Ray Fisher Stadium at Wilpon Baseball Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans were defeated by the Wolverines, 4-3.
Junior left-handed pitcher Cam Vieaux (36) and senior infielder Justin Hovis (8) gather at the mound during a stoppage of play during the game against Michigan on April 29, 2016 at Ray Fisher Stadium at Wilpon Baseball Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans were defeated by the Wolverines, 4-3.

Redshirt-junior pitcher Cam Vieaux was unable to pick up a win for the Spartans for his second-straight start.

MSU has lost their second consecutive game with Vieaux on the mound in an eleven inning battle against University of Michigan in game one of a crucial three-game set over their Big Ten rivals by a final score of 4-3.

Following the game, head coach Jake Boss Jr. was short, but very adamant in his thoughts about the game.

“Well, we got beat,” Boss said. “We didn’t play well enough to win, we had our chances and didn’t take advantage of them.”

Vieaux lasted only 1.1 innings, and labored in doing so — the Spartan ace only faced 10 batters and gave up four hits and two earned runs while walking two and only striking out one. Vieaux was pulled after the team’s second mound visit of the inning, and was visibly agitated when Borkovich was called out of the bullpen, sulking his way back into the dugout.

On the bright side, Walter Borkovich was nothing short of exceptional for MSU out of the pen. The starter-turned-reliever retired the first seven batters he faced and went 5.1 innings and allowed one run on only three hits while striking out four and walking two. In his third appearance as a reliever, Borkovich was able to hold the Wolverines off and ate up innings to preserve MSU’s bullpen for the rest of the series.

“It was a tough spot for (Borkovich) to come into the ball game,” Boss said. “I give him a lot of credit, because he was ready to go and we certainly didn’t plan on using him that early, but he got down and got hot quickly and was really, really effective.”

And despite giving up the game-winning hit to University of Michigan second baseman Ako Thomas, sophomore closer Dakota Mekkes tossed four innings for the Spartans, allowing two hits and striking out nine through 82 pitches.

“He’s got swing and miss stuff,” Boss said. “You saw that again tonight. Obviously, he went a little bit longer than we wanted to throw him because we planned on getting it done in the ninth but it’s what he does. He’s a competitor, his stuff is outstanding and he’s a strikeout guy.”

Friday’s loss to the Wolverines puts MSU at 8-5 in the conference standings, a game and a half behind U-M in the Big Ten standings.

The rivals will square up for game two at McLane Baseball Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday. Sophomore right-hander Ethan Landon (5-1, 2.01 ERA) will start for MSU, while the Wolverines will counter with southpaw Oliver Jaskie (6-2, 3.10 ERA). Game two is set to start at 1:05 p.m.

“It was a real tough one,” Borkovich said. “I obviously thought we had our chances both early in the game and later in the game. The hitters did a really good job at forcing extra innings, but getting the last three outs can be a really tough thing to do. We were close today and the good thing is we still have a chance to win the series.”

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