Baseball's 6-0 win Sunday afternoon against Rutgers, was head coach Jake Boss Jr.’s 300th victory in charge as head coach of the team.
The Michigan native is in his 10th season in East Lansing, and has led the Spartans to five of their 10 winningest seasons.
“It’s an honor for me to put the uniform on,” Boss said, as he began to get choked up. “I take a lot of pride in it, I’ve had a lot of good kids that have played for us and good members of our staff. People have worked really hard. I don’t take it lightly by any means. I get to live a dream.”
The milestone win was a long time coming. The Spartans lost eight games in a row prior to breaking through Sunday on the strength of redshirt freshman Mason Erla’s seven shutout innings and timely hitting from a re-energized Spartan ballclub.
“The way the last two weeks have gone, it’s been tough sledding around here,” Boss said. “I give our guys a lot of credit, they keep working hard, they show up with a good attitude and keep playing hard. It was good to see them get rewarded for that today.”
Senior first baseman Zack McGuire, who drove in the first run of the game with a double to center field, believes the game can be the start of something new for the team.
“We’re starting to turn things around,” he said. “When we play a clean game and pitch well, the bats are going to come. Hopefully, we can carry this into next game and then the weekend.”
Redshirt senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly agreed, and spoke confidently about the team's performance.
“I think it just shows that when we’re on, we can beat anyone,” he said. “(Rutgers) is a good team, but I also think it’s a team that we should beat. So, getting that one out of the way, and just rolling from here, I think it’s going to be good.”
Roskelly said he was beaming with pride over the accomplishments of his head coach.
“Three hundred wins is a lot, I heard him (talk about) putting on the jersey everyday,” he said. “We’re at a Big Ten school. For us, growing up in Michigan and being around this area, you dream to be here. It’s pretty awesome.”
McGuire said the hard work Boss pushes has endured over the throughout his 10 seasons in East Lansing.
“It’s awesome. He’s out here working hard for us, so we want to work hard for him,” he said. “It’s a really cool experience to be part of that. I’m happy for him, and happy for our team to get things rolling here.”
For Boss, the relief of finally notching the 300th win after eight unsuccessful tries made him reflective.
“To be the head baseball coach at Michigan State, I grew up here and have been coming here since I was a kid. I saw Kirk Gibson play," Boss said. "Honestly, it is a dream come true for me to be able to put the uniform on.”
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