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Michigan State Baseball: Spartans come up clutch in three-game sweep of Houston Baptist

MSU improves to 10-7 on the season.

Kelly Branigan

In the finale of Sunday’s double-header, Michigan State’s baseball team celebrated a walk-off victory. It’s a celebration the Spartans are familiar with.

Sophomore infielder Dillon Kark hit a walk-off home run in MSU’s home opener on Friday. Next, sophomore infielder Trent Farquhar sent a ball over the fence in the eighth inning of the first game on Sunday. Then, redshirt freshman catcher Christian Williams scored on an error by Houston Baptist in the ninth inning of the closer on Sunday.

Michigan State loves keeping it close.

Starter Harrison Cook went six innings on Friday, allowing four hits and three earned runs. He struck out seven batters.

Houston Baptist started the scoring with an RBI single from Logan Letney. In that same inning, Parker Edwards hit a two-run shot over the fence for the Huskies. The Spartans would score the next four runs, however, including the walk-off shot by Kark in the final frame. MSU would win by a final score of 4-3.

After Saturday’s game was postponed due to rain, MSU opened Sunday’s double-header with left-handed starter Nick Powers on the mound. Powers’ nasty change-up was on full-display. He went 6.1 innings, struck out five hitters and kept the Huskies out of the run column.

Michigan State was able to get one or two solid hits off of Houston Baptist pitcher Jared Burch, but he always worked himself out of trouble.

After seven consecutive scoreless innings on both sides, Farquhar ended up getting ahold of a curveball high in the zone from Houston Baptist pitcher Austin Spinney and ripped it over the fence in right field. MSU’s senior closer Kyle Bischoff shut the door in the ninth and gave Michigan State the victory. It was his fourth save of the season.

Sunday’s second game was far more exciting with offense on full display. Michigan State erupted with four runs after hits by Kark, Farquhar and Williams. That put the Spartans up 4-1. Houston Baptist answered with two runs in the fourth inning, forcing freshman Ryan Szczepaniak out of the game.

Szczepaniak went 3.2 innings, struck out three batters, allowed three runs and walked two. Wyatt Rush came in and gave MSU three scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Bischoff was awarded the win.

Over the weekend, Mitch Jebb snapped his 21-game hitting streak that extended back to last season. However, he walked in the first game and had two hits in the double-header. He’s still riding an on-base streak of 24-straight games.

After the sweep, Michigan State improves to 10-7. The Spartans take on Purdue-Fort Wayne on Wednesday in East Lansing before beginning Big Ten play next weekend against Illinois. The Fighting Illini are 7-10 and just went 1-2 against Southern Illinois.