Monday, May 20, 2024

MSU baseball beats Michigan in home series, looks for spot in Big Ten Tournament

May 6, 2024
<p>Junior infielder Sam Busch takes a massive swing but it wasn't quite where it was needed, in the matchup against Penn State at McLane Baseball Stadium on April 21, 2024.</p>

Junior infielder Sam Busch takes a massive swing but it wasn't quite where it was needed, in the matchup against Penn State at McLane Baseball Stadium on April 21, 2024.

Michigan State baseball took on the University of Michigan Wolverines this past weekend in a three-game series at home, Michigan State's first in-conference home series since late April.

The Spartans won the first two games of the series but fell in the last game, which brought their record to 21-23 overall, an even 9-9 in conference play and 11-8 at home. 

Game One

Left-handed pitcher Joseph Dzierwa started for Michigan State against right-hander Chase Allen for Michigan.

The Wolverines came out firing in the top of the first inning as they got a double early on and a ground out, which advanced the batter to third base. Then, Dzierwa balked in the first run of the game before striking out the final batter. The score moved to 1-0 in favor of the Wolverines. 

In the bottom of the first inning, the Spartan offense started out hot as well. A walk and two singles later, Michigan State had tied the game up at 1-1. 

Both teams went quiet offensively the next few innings, and before Michigan scored next, Dzierwa struck out seven Michigan players.

From the bottom of the second inning up until the bottom of the fifth, Michigan State left only two runners on base, and couldn't garner any runs. However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, infielder Dillon Kark hit a solo home run, which brought the Michigan State lead to 2-1.

In the top of the eighth inning, Dzierwa balked in yet another runner after letting up a double and a walk, which brought the score to 2-2.

Nine innings weren't enough to separate the two teams' scores, as the game went into extra innings. in the top of the 10th inning, Michigan wasn't able to get a single hit, leaving it up to the Spartans to try and finish the game.

In the bottom of the tenth inning, the first batter grounded out, but two singles after put runners at first and third base with just one out. Kark was intentionally walked to load the bases. Outfielder Nick Williams lifted a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, leaving the Spartans to get a walk-off 3-2 win in the first game of the series.

Game Two

Lefty Nick Powers took to the mound for the Spartans and was up against right-hander Sachem Ramos for the Wolverines.

The Spartans were able to tally up two runs in the first inning, after getting two walks and two singles, the start to an offense-heavy game.

In the top of the second inning, the Wolverines got a walk and two singles, which brought in a run, cutting the early lead to just one run. Right after, in the bottom of the second inning, Michigan State's Sam Busch hit a solo home run, which brought the score to 3-1 in favor of the Spartans.

In the top of the third inning, Michigan tied the game up at 3-3 after a two-run home run from outfielder Stephen Hrustich. However, that was all that the Wolverines could get as Powers was able to strike out the rest of the batters to end the inning. Then, in the bottom of the third inning, catcher Sam Thompson for Michigan State hit a sacrifice fly ball, which brought a runner in to make the score 4-3 for the Spartans. 

Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Michigan State hit a double, got a walk and advanced runners on a wild pitch, all before two throwing errors occurred, which ultimately brought in three runs combined, leaving the score 7-3 for Michigan State.

In the next three innings, the Wolverines scored three runs and the Spartans one, which made the score 8-6 heading into the eighth inning.

With Michigan batting in the top of the eighth inning, the Wolverines' outfielder Jonathan Kim hit a two-run home run, tying the game at 8-8. But, in the bottom of that same inning, the Spartans came out with power. One solo home run, a single, a double and a three-run home run later, and the Spartans were up 12-8 heading into the top of the ninth inning.

Michigan State closed the game out easily, retiring the side, winning the game 12-8.

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Game Three

Right-hander Nick Ferazzi took the rubber for the Spartans on Sunday, squaring off against right-hander Kurt Barr for Michigan. 

Both teams scored one run in the first inning, the start to a very back-and-forth game. In the bottom of the second inning, the Spartans hit a two-run home run, going all the way into the Red Cedar River, which moved the score to 3-1 with Michigan State ahead. Then, in the bottom of the third inning, Michigan State was able to tally up another run, making the score 4-1.

In the top of the fourth, Ferazzi continued pitching, ultimately walking the first batter before giving up a three-run home run to infielder Mack Timbrook. He struck out the next batter and gave up another home run, which made the score 5-4 in favor of Michigan.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Spartans were able to get two doubles, a walk and a single, bringing the lead to 7-5 for Michigan State.

For the next four innings, Michigan scored two runs and Michigan State one, making the score 8-7 heading into the ninth inning. There, Michigan tied the game up at 8-8 after a walk, a bunt, and a sacrifice groundout.

Michigan State wasn't able to finish the game in the bottom of the ninth, causing the game to go into extra innings. After two quiet extra innings, Michigan took the lead in the 12th inning; a walk and two singles led to the Wolverines scoring two runs, moving the score to 10-8 heading into the bottom of the 12th inning, Michigan State's last attempt to tie or win the game.

However, Michigan State couldn't get any runs and left a runner on base to end the game, ultimately losing 10-8 in the third and final game of the series.

Assistant coach and acting head coach for the game for Michigan State, Mark Van Ameyde, spoke about the team’s performance throughout the series against its in-state rivals. 

“We won the series, we've taken three of four from our rival and we're gonna feel good about that," Van Ameyde said. "It's huge. That's our third straight series win. When you start the conference season, that's the idea: win every series. (If) you win every series, you put yourself in a good position. That's kind of where we put ourselves right now and to do it against Michigan is even better. “

The Spartans will be taking the series win into a single game at home against Bowling Green on Tuesday, May 7 at 6:05 p.m.

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