Michigan State won their first game of the season Friday February 17th by a score of 9-2 and never looked back, sweeping Abilene Christian over a four game weekend set.
The Spartans outscored their Wildcat opponents 51-21 in the series, capping off the weekend with a 14-5 victory on Sunday afternoon. The win marked the second game in a row where the team scored double digit runs.
Michigan State is 4-0 for the second straight season, the third time under Jake Boss Jr, and only the 11th time in school history.
Overall, it is the 11th 4-0 start in school history.— Michigan St Baseball (@statebaseball) February 19, 2017
The Spartans excelled at the plate, scoring 51 runs and racking up 63 hits, as well. Six Spartans ended the series with an average of .375 or better and all six guys played at least three of the four contests.
- Danny Gleaves: .524 (11-21), 2 2B, 5 RBI
- Dan Durkin: .500 (9-18), 3 2B, 11 RBI
- Zack McGuire: .474 (9-19), 4 2B, 5 RBI
- Dan Chmielewski: .471 (8-17), 2 2B, 2 RBI
- Marty Bechina: .375 (6-16), 3 HR, 5 RBI
- Alex Troop: .375 (3-8), 1 2B, 1 RBI
Durkin’s impressive weekend was enough to bring home Big Ten Player of the Week.
Michigan State’s offense wasn't the only part of their game that had fans cheering. Freshman pitcher Mason Erla made his college debut during Sunday’s game, pitching 4.0 innings, giving up 8 hits and 4 earned runs. Michigan State’s other freshman, Mike Mokma, pitched in the same game and recorded his first two career strikeouts while closing out the game in the ninth.
Two other impressive pitchers from this series were Alex Troop and Jake Lowery. Alex ended the weekend with a 1-0 record, 5.0 IP, surrendering only 2 hits and 1 unearned run. Lowery also had a good series, pitching 5.2 innings where he gave up 3 hits, 1 earned run, and six strikeouts.
Baar gets a strikeout to end the 8th. Heading to 9th, MSU holding 8-5 lead over ACU. pic.twitter.com/nsaAcVkvmH— Michigan St Baseball (@statebaseball) February 19, 2017
Perhaps the most impressive inning of the weekend for the Spartans was during Sunday’s victory. Heading into the top of the ninth Michigan State held a slim three run lead over ACU. That was before they batted around and tacked on six runs to push the score to 14-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth, where Mokma took care of business.
- The Spartans are seeing the ball extremely well, the team as a whole is averaging .401, if they keep this pace fans might be seeing another sweep in the near future.
- Alex Troop is the truth. In Troop’s 5.0 IP he retired ACU in order three times. His 3 strikeouts are deceiving, as he made the Wildcats look silly at the plate batting .111 while he was on the mound.
- Spartan fans couldn't have asked for a better start to the year, they won all four games in very convincing fashion. As mentioned earlier they scored an unreal 51 runs (to ACU’s 21) in three days and 63 hits to go along with them.
The Spartans are packing up to hit the road again, this time they travel to North Carolina, to face UNC Greensboro. The series will start Friday February 24th and is set to go at 4 p.m.