Tuesday, May 18, 2021

MSU baseball cashes in on early lead, wins 7-4 in first leg of Friday doubleheader

April 9, 2021
<p>Redshirt junior pitcher Mason Erla (30) throws a pitch for Penn State&#x27;s Johnny Piacentino in the fourth inning. The Spartans excelled against the Nittany Lions and won 7-4 at McLane Baseball Stadium on April 9, 2021.</p>

Redshirt junior pitcher Mason Erla (30) throws a pitch for Penn State's Johnny Piacentino in the fourth inning. The Spartans excelled against the Nittany Lions and won 7-4 at McLane Baseball Stadium on April 9, 2021.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

The Michigan State baseball team (10-9) started off strong in their first of two games Friday afternoon but were almost unable to pull it off as Penn State (6-12) finally got comfortable in McLane Stadium.

After a momentary rain delay in the top of the eighth inning, with the bases loaded by Penn State, junior Zach Iverson took the mound.

One. Two. Three strikes and the Nittany Lions were out, down 6-2 to the Spartans as MSU got the bats rolling early at McLane Stadium en route to a 7-4 win over Penn State to open the weekend. The game also got the Spartans to over .500 on the season.

The Spartans had confidence going into the bottom of the eighth inning after knocking in three runs during the sixth inning. Redshirt freshman Gabe Sotres made it home off of a single from senior Joe Stewart for insurance, and their lead stretched to five as they went into the final inning.

You could call it a nail-biter because, truthfully, it was.

The Nittany Lions saw base hit after base hit, two doubles and three singles brought the Nittany Lions closer to their opponent in the top of the ninth.

Freshman Matt Wood doubled down the left field line, followed by redshirt freshman Josh Spiegel, who doubled to right field and brought Wood home.

Then, redshirt junior Cole Bartels grounded out to the second base, and Spiegel made it home.

Penn State posted a total of five hits and two earned runs on Iverson's pitching. For a moment, the bases were loaded, and one right hit would've shot MSU's hard work into the dirt.

The Spartans were in luck, however, when Iverson struck out PSU freshman Tayven Kelley. The Nittany Lions were done for, this time.

baseball-vs-psu-4-9-21-demay-8

The Spartans are setting up to play the Nittany Lions again 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one as part of their adjusted weekend doubleheader. Of note too from the ball game, redshirt junior Mason Erla topped 200 career strikeouts today, and Iverson hit his first home run of the 2021 season.

MSU will play Sunday and Monday as well to close out the four-game home stand.

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