Tuesday, June 25, 2024

MSU baseball prepares to play Lansing Lugnuts in 16th annual Crosstown Showdown

April 2, 2024
<p>MSU baseball players share a laugh between innings during the team’s home opener vs. the University of Evansville at McLane Baseball Stadium on March 15, 2024.</p>

MSU baseball players share a laugh between innings during the team’s home opener vs. the University of Evansville at McLane Baseball Stadium on March 15, 2024.

The Michigan State baseball team is coming fresh off its first Big Ten series victory of the season over the weekend at home against Rutgers, a series in which the Spartans won two games and Rutgers one. 

Next in line for the Spartans was supposed to be an away game at Notre Dame, however, the weather was an issue and the game was postponed to a date that has yet to be determined by both teams. Now, the focus shifts to the Crosstown Showdown against the Oakland Athletics High-A affiliate, the Lansing Lugnuts.

Michigan State is coming into the game at 12-14 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten, winning two straight games. Because of this, the Spartans will try and carry that momentum into the game against the Lugnuts.

This will be the 16th overall exhibition matchup between the two teams, in which the Lugnuts have won the last 10. Last year’s matchup was a lopsided victory for Lansing as the Lugnuts beat the Spartans 12-3. MSU will be looking to snap the long win streak and take it into the weekend series against Niagara. 

This will be the first time the Lugnuts have played a game this season, but the game will not count towards either team's records because it is an exhibition match.

Michigan State's offense will be the ticket for the Spartans against a professional ball club led by two of the Athletics' top 30 prospects, Henry Bolte and Will Simpson, according to MLB.com and the Lugnuts roster. Although the Spartan pitching staff has performed well lately, it’ll take a complete ball game from both offense and defense to win. 

Offensively, MSU has produced an average of 6.5 runs per game on the season so far and has six qualified hitters over a .300 batting average. The offense is led by outfielder Landen Lozier, who has a .382 batting average on the season, outfielder Jack Frank, with a .352 batting average, three home runs and 22 runs batted in, and infielders Ryan McKay, who has a .333 batting average and 15 runs batted in and Dillon Kark, who has a .321 batting average, two home runs and 19 runs batted in. 

Right-hander Harrison Cook will be the starting pitcher against Lansing. He has a 0-1 record with a 6.52 earned run average so far this season. Right-hander Grant Judkins will get the start for the Lugnuts. He hasn’t pitched since the 2022 season in which he was 3-4 with a 5.43 earned run average for the Low-A Stockton Ports. Judkins is also a Big Ten product himself, hailing from Iowa

The game will be played at Jackson Field in Lansing, right near the Capitol in downtown. This is the first of two games MSU will play at Jackson Field, as the Spartans will also play Western Michigan on April 17.

The gates to the stadium will open at 5 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Michigan State-Lansing Lugnuts themed jersey.

The game will be played on Wednesday, April 3. First pitch will be at 6:05 p.m.

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