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Michigan State baseball emerges victorious over Oakland in back and forth affair

April 20, 2022
<p>MSU redshirt freshman Bryan Broecker hands supplies off to fellow teammate Mitch Jebb during the Oakland matchup on April 19th, 2022. </p>

MSU redshirt freshman Bryan Broecker hands supplies off to fellow teammate Mitch Jebb during the Oakland matchup on April 19th, 2022.

Photo by Olivia Hans | The State News

After being swept by Michigan this past weekend, MSU came back with a 6-5 win over Oakland University after a back and forth game Tuesday night.

Despite the brisk temperatures, the Spartans fought to seal the win over the Golden Grizzlies, and secure the comeback.

"I thought we were much better today. It's good to get a win at home obviously," Michigan State Baseball Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. said. "I was proud of our guys for fighting back after some adversity. ... It was a good night."

Oakland scored the first run at the top of the first inning. It wasn't until the bottom of the second when MSU took the lead with runs from junior Casey Mayes and redshirt freshman Christian Williams.

"You can never be dissatisfied with a win. Wins are hard to get, so coming out tonight no matter how sloppy or bad you feel you've played, it's always good to get a win," Williams said.

The Spartans shut down a quick no run, no hit and no error inning on the field defensively, followed by a homer from sophomore Jack Frank making the score 3-2.

The fourth inning was slow with one hit from sophomore Dillion Kark, and two left on base. OU graduate student Seth Tucker scored during the top of the fifth off a grounder to 1st base.

The game started to heat up in the sixth. Oakland scored three runs to take the lead above MSU. The top of the sixth seemed endless with three pitching changes for the Spartans, followed by runs from sophomore Trent Farquhar and junior Zaid Walker to tie it up.

"We had to figure out a way to get it done tonight somehow. ... They took ownership over what was going on today, they didn't get down in the dugout, they didn't hang their heads, it was more of an attitude of 'Okay, that happened and now we are going to go get the lead back.' It was good to see," Boss said.

MSU kept it calm during the top of the 7th, making sure that there were 0 runs and hits for the Grizzlies.

During the bottom of the seventh, Mitch Jebb singled to right field, allowing Williams to score to take the lead back for the spartans.

"I was going up confident. I've been seeing the ball well the last couple of games, so I knew stepping up to the plate that I had all the confidence in the world," Williams said.

Freshman Ryan Szczepaniak stepped in at the mount during the bottom of the eighth where he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Following Szczepaniak, Graduate student Kyle Bischoff pitched the ninth. Bischoff struck out two OU players, making him the team leading reliever with seven saves. This is tied for the most as of 2019 from Indigo Diaz.

"I'm happy that (the team) can trust me with that role now," Bischoff said. "I've been searching for five years to be able to do this for a team, and I'm happy they can trust me."

MSU will host Eastern Michigan tomorrow. First pitch will be at 6:35 p.m. This weekend the spartans will be on the road in Evanston, Illinois against the Wildcats.

"Overall, we need to play good baseball," Boss said. "We need to play better defensively after we made two errors tonight. We need to continue to get ahead in the count on the mound. We had a couple big hits tonight so we need to continue to keep a good approach with runners on base. ... Just continue to fight and compete."

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