Michigan State baseball continued their struggles against rival Michigan, suffering a series sweep including two blow out losses.
The Spartans found themselves trying to dig out of quite a hole in Saturday's game after the Wolverines busted open it open with a five-run inning. They ultimately lost 8-2.
"We gotta get the first three outs of the game," Michigan State head coach Jake Boss said. "Hopefully we'll have a chance, but we didn't get the first three outs today and we ended up giving up five in the first."
Sophomore starting pitcher Nick Powers struggled to get through the first inning, giving up five runs to the Michigan bats. Junior outfielder Clark Elliot, fresh off his three home run game last night got the momentum started for the Wolverines with a lead-off single. Then with two runners on base junior infielder Ted Burton hit an RBI single to bring Elliot home and give his team a 1-0 lead.
Junior catcher Jimmy Obertop extended the lead with another RBI single to put the Wolverines up 2-0 and they didn't show any signs of stopping there. Both junior infielder Tito Flores and senior infielder Jack Van Remortel doubled to center and center/left field respectively to knock in a combined three runs to expand Michigan's lead to 5-0 without a single Spartan getting the chance to step up to the plate.
MSU was unable to answer to the five-run inning. No Spartans were able to reach base in the first four innings.
The Wolverines however, had no such problems. Obertop singled, followed by a walk to Flores putting a runner in scoring position and it didn't take long for graduate student infielder Matt Frey to capitalize. He doubled down the right field line to bring Obertop home and give his team a 6-0 lead in just the third inning.
Powers was knocked out of the game in the top of the fifth inning after he allowed two Wolverines to get on base without recording an out. He went 4.2 innings allowing seven hits and six runs and striking out five batters before redshirt junior Wyatt Rush was called in to pitch for the Spartans.
Rush got his team out of the fifth, but one more was able to score after junior left fielder Casey Mayes appeared to drop the ball after running in a significant amount in an attempt to make the play. Michigan ended the inning up 7-0.
The Spartans finally got something going in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore infielder Mitch Jebb walked on a 3-2 count, the first walk of the game for junior starting pitcher Cameron Weston, who hadn't allowed any walks, hits, or runs until that point.
That fourth ball proved to be the momentum they needed to get on the board. Sophomore infielder Trent Farquhar hit a comebacker right at Weston who was unable to recover, giving the Spartans two baserunners. Sophomore outfielder Jack Frank then doubled down the left field line, bringing them both home and cutting into Michigan's lead 7-2.
The Wolverines would go on to add one more run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single from Frey putting them up 8-2 where the score would ultimately stay.
The Spartans gave it everything they had in Sunday's game to avoid the sweep, but to no avail. The Michigan bats stayed hot, winning 6-3 and ultimately taking the series.
They got the scoring started in the top of the fourth when Obertop reached on error, scoring the runner and allowing the Wolverines to strike first. This misplay kept the inning going for Flores who made sure to make the Spartans pay. He homered to left with Obertop on base to put his team up 3-0.
Apparently trying to outdo his teammate Flores, graduate student outfielder Joe Stewart homered to center in the top of the fifth to bring home three more runs, giving Michigan a 6-0 lead.
The Spartans attempted a comeback with a sacrifice fly that got them on the board in the sixth followed by doubles from Jebb and Farquhar in the seventh that brought home a run a piece. However, three runs were all they could muster and they suffered their fifth straight loss 6-3.
They'll look to bounce back when they take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at home on Tuesday.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “MSU baseball suffers series sweep to rival Michigan” on social media.