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Baseball Team Looks to Continue Recent Success

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The MSU baseball squad got off to a rough start, but has been playing better lately.

This will be the start of a new weekly piece taking a look at the baseball team. It will look back on the previous week, and look ahead to what is on tap for the MSU hardball squad over the coming week.

But first a brief summary of the season to this point before we dive into the last week’s performance and what is coming up.

MSU has had a rough season on the diamond so far. The team is just 8-22 on the year, and is still searching for their first win in Big Ten play as they have lost their first five conference games of the season.

Everybody caught up? Great, on to the recap.

Last weekend the Spartans played a three game series with Indiana State, ushering in a new era at Kobs Field, as the Spartans played under the lights at home for the first time. Michigan State took two of three from the Sycamores, which I’m sure prompted a text from Magic Johnson to Larry Bird. Or maybe not.

Game one on Friday night was the first official night game in Kobs Field history, and the Spartans walked it off in the 10th inning with a suicide squeeze bunt by catcher Nic Lacayo scored Royce Ando to give the home side a 1-0 win.

The second game of the series was another tight, low scoring affair, with Indiana State getting two runs in the first inning and making them hold up for a 2-1 win. Mitchell Tyranski tossed seven innings for MSU allowing the two runs on just three hits with six strikeouts and three walks but took the tough luck loss. Dan Chmielewski had the lone RBI for the Spartans with an RBI single in the seventh.

The bats came to life for MSU on Sunday as they took the rubber match 6-0 behind 6.2 innings of shutout ball from Caleb Sleeman. Casey Mayes got the scoring started for the Spartans in the second inning with a two-run homer, his second of the year. Zach Iverson put the game away in the eighth with a three-run double.

The Spartans kept their solid week going by heading into South Bend on Tuesday and getting a come from behind with 3-2 over the Irish. Down 2-0 in the sixth Adam Proctor got MSU on the board with a solo shot, his fifth of the season.

Then in the seventh freshman Zaid Walker doubled home Lacayo to tie it up, and then scored on a throwing error after advancing on a wild pitch. The heads up baserunning put the Spartans ahead and they were able to hold on as Indigo Diaz locked down his third save of the season by striking out the side in the ninth.

Jarret Olson was solid on the mound for MSU to start the game going five innings allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Coming Up

The Spartans head to Piscataway, New Jersey this weekend in search of their first Big Ten win. MSU will play a three game set against Rutgers starting Friday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights are 10-19 on the year, and 2-4 in conference play. MSU owns a 14-4 all-time series lead, but hasn’t visited Piscataway since 2015 when they swept a three game series.

The Spartans will then return home after the weekend series to take on Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night. EMU isn’t very good either, sitting at 7-25-1 on the year. So this is a good stretch here for MSU to maybe get a nice little winning streak going. The Spartans have been playing better of late, having won four of their last six.