Thursday, July 2, 2020

Preview: Spartans' baseball squaring off against Lansing Lugnuts in Crosstown Showdown

September 3, 2019
<p>Senior shortstop Marty Bechina (2) celebrates with senior second baseman Royce Ando (13) after hitting a home run against Illinois. The Spartans beat the Fighting Illini, 5-2, at McLane Baseball Stadium on May 17, 2019. </p>

Senior shortstop Marty Bechina (2) celebrates with senior second baseman Royce Ando (13) after hitting a home run against Illinois. The Spartans beat the Fighting Illini, 5-2, at McLane Baseball Stadium on May 17, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State baseball will play in the annual Crosstown Showdown against the Lansing Lugnuts at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Cooley Law Stadium. 

Although out of season, the Crosstown Showdown marks the beginning of the Spartans fall training season, which runs until October. “These guys are coming off of summer ball and they’ve had a couple weeks off, so we are really trying to ease them back into fall baseball right now,” Spartan Head Coach Jake Boss said. 

In terms of who will play, Boss said that he plans on giving many different athletes playing time tonight. He also mentioned that he plans on having each pitcher pitch one inning throughout the 7-inning matchup. 

“We’ll play a lot of different guys. We’ve got 35 guys on our roster, not all 35 will play but we’ll do our best to get as many of those guys in there as we can,” Boss said.

However, after losing key players, infielder Mitchell Tryanski and pitchers Indigo Diaz and Marty Bechina, to the 2019 MLB draft, Boss voiced concern over the “unknown” the team is walking into Tuesday night.

To make up for these losses, Boss plans to show two true freshman, infielder Dillon Kark and pitcher Zach Hopman, the field tonight.

Boss described the event as “a lot of fun” for the Spartans. The Crosstown Showdown is geared towards exhibiting a more “festival-like atmosphere,” by incorporating aspects like a pregame home run derby.

“It’s just an outstanding way to generate enthusiasm for our program both in the community and within our own locker room,” Boss said, before highlighting that playing a minor league team like the Lugnuts creates “an opportunity for our guys to live out a taste of what their dreams are in playing pro baseball.”

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