Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Nick Powers always 'kind of knew what to do,' now he's leaving his mark on the mound for MSU baseball

April 9, 2021
Michigan State's Nick Powers (46) pitches the ball in the Spartans' victory on March 28, 2021.
Michigan State's Nick Powers (46) pitches the ball in the Spartans' victory on March 28, 2021. —
Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Freshman pitcher Nick Powers has always ... just kind of known what to do.

He always has, especially on the mound as a starting pitcher – something he did his whole life growing up just an hour away from East Lansing in Flushing, Michigan.

Despite only being a freshman and having his senior season of high school baseball cut short, the left-handed pitcher is consistent on the mound with 21 strikeouts, three wins out of his five games pitched and a 3.95 ERA across 27.1 innings pitched.

“I’ve always been a starter, basically my whole entire life," Powers said in an interview. "So, I kind of knew what to do in a starting role, but I was not expecting to start especially my first year here. But when I found out that I was getting a starting role, I got very excited.” 

Recently, Powers was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week after being the only pitcher in the Big Ten to walk away with wins against the top two teams: Indiana and a shutout of Michigan where the southpaw threw seven scoreless innings and only gave up four hits.

“I think it’s a well-deserved honor for Nick," MSU Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "He throws well, and I think he continues to get better."

In his first home game, Powers threw 6.2 IP shutout innings, with a scoreless inning streak of 15 straight innings. The Hoosiers walked away with their season-low of only four hits while tying a season-low of one run in Powers fourth career appearance.

“Nick Powers did a heck of a job, really did a nice job keeping their guys off-balance,” Boss said.

Powers has been the first Spartan to be awarded the accolade of Big Ten Freshman of the Week since pitcher Mason Erla in 2018. 

“It’s definitely a big honor for me," Powers said regarding the award. "I definitely was not expecting that, especially this early in the season. Honestly, coming in, I really wasn’t expecting to get a whole lot of playing time, just 'cause I'm a freshman.”

Young, but consistent on the mound

Boss Jr. emphasized that Powers continues to learn and his work ethic is continuously paying off for him. 

“I think we could see him, if the schedule were in a normal year, you could see him being a guy maybe getting a midweek start here and there," Boss said. "But the fact that he throws a lot of strikes really was the deciding factor going into week one."

With 19 freshmen on the roster, Powers has relied on the veterans to ease him into Big Ten baseball. 

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“It’s really not just one guy, it’s basically the whole team," Powers said. "It’s not just for me, it’s for all the freshmen. They took us under their wings, and they really are doing all they can to help us kind of get into the college baseball life.”

Despite only being a freshman, Powers continuously puts in his best effort, learns from those around him and has proven to be a valuable teammate for the Spartans.

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