Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Baseball looks to snap 5-game losing streak as Nebraska comes to town

April 22, 2021
Zach Iverson pitches to Penn State's Curtis Robison in the top of the eighth inning. The Spartans excelled against the Nittany Lions and won 7-4 at McLane Baseball Field on April 9, 2021.
Zach Iverson pitches to Penn State's Curtis Robison in the top of the eighth inning. The Spartans excelled against the Nittany Lions and won 7-4 at McLane Baseball Field on April 9, 2021. —
Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

The late April snow is no surprise to any Michigander, and despite the uncharacteristic, yet not surprising weather, MSU baseball continues to prepare as they prepare for a three-game home series against Nebraska this weekend.  

After an 11-10 start to the season, the Spartans have dropped their last five games to fall to 11-15, and are still looking for some consistency in their lineups, offensively and in their pitching rotations.

The Spartans are bouncing back from four losses last weekend, two against Illinois and two against Purdue, one of which was an extra-innings loss to the Boilermakers. 

“Offense was kind of in spurts and the pitching was up and down too,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss. “I think the effort out of our guys was good, it’s just a matter of showing up some of the details, we did not take care of the little things very well at all last weekend.”

This is part of the process of having young players like freshman Mitch Jebb, freshman Trent Farquhar, and redshirt freshman Gabe Sotres in a lineup that consists of a lot of freshmen and sophomores. 

Despite their youth, the Spartans have been quick to move on from bad games, and Boss has commended his players on keeping a short-term memory throughout the season. 

“They've been really good all year about separating one game from the next, even one inning from the next or one at-bat from the next,” said Boss. “Winning streak, losing streak or whatever, there’s nothing you can do about what just happened and you have to get ready for the next one and they’ve bought into that.”

On the other side, Nebraska is sitting at 18-6 on the year, coming in on a four-game winning streak. They are a well-balanced team with little to no weaknesses at any given position, but Boss said the Spartans know how good Nebraska is and are ready for the challenge, especially in their first nationally broadcasted game of the year.

MSU also is looking forward to the end of the school year. With classes ending this week, it will give the players not only a break from a tough schedule, balancing their classes with their athletics, but also allowing them to focus and get extra reps, or even to take a step back and destress a little in their free time. 

Patience is the key for the Spartans’ success this weekend, and although Boss is aware, he preached the old cliche, “take it one pitch at a time,” not only on the mound but at the plate. With four Spartans batting over .300 this year in Casey Mayes, Zaid Walker, Joe Stewart and Jack Frank, the bats should be able to heat up as the weather does and the snow melts off of Kobs Field in East Lansing.  


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