After a mid-week non conference loss at Notre Dame, the Michigan State Baseball team returned to Big Ten Conference play this weekend with a three game home series over the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Spartans, who ranked in the middle of the Big Ten standings before the game was able to take the first two games of the series before failing to finish off the sweep on Sunday.
In the opening game on Friday April 14, the Spartans completed their first shutout of the season with a 2-0 victory over Ohio State. The Spartans’s starting pitcher, Alex Troop was outstanding for Jake Boss’s club by going six scoreless innings while fanning seven batters. Offensively, the Spartans were led by their lone Canadian player Royce Ando who went two for three with two doubles and an RBI. Joe Mockbee locked the door in the ninth inning to pick up the save and secure Troop’s fifth win of the season.
Saturday’s game between MSU and Ohio State continued the competitive weekend between the two squads as the Spartans were able to pull off the victory by the score of 6-5. Michigan State needed the help of their bullpen in this game as the starter, Ethan Landon was only able to complete two innings while giving up three earned runs. Joe Mockbee, who picked up the save on the previous night put up great numbers for the second straight game by going three innings and only giving up one run as well as fanning six buckeyes out of the pen and to pick up his fourth win of the year. Offensively MSU was led by Dan Chmielewski and Zach McGuire who went two for three with a double, home run , and two RBIs and one for four with a home run and three RBI’s respectively. Riley McCauley picked up his seventh save of the game which tied the single season save record at MSU.
The Buckeyes picked up a win in Sunday’s afternoon game in which the Spartans had one of their most sloppy efforts all season by committing four errors in the game. Ohio State was able to put up 13 runs against Spartans pitchers in a 13 to 8 victory at McLane Baseball Stadium. MSU’s starting pitcher, Andrew Gonzalez lasted just 2 and 1/3 innings while giving up three runs and putting pressure on the Spartan bullpen for the second straight game. The game began to unravel in the third and fourth inning for the Spartans when reliever, Nathan Witt gave up six runs on seven hits in just an inning of work. The Spartans were never able to climb back into it getting as close as down five in the seventh inning. Gonzalez was charged with the loss bringing his season record to (3-2). Offensively, MSU was led by Dan Durkin who went two for four with two home runs and five RBI’s.
After this weekends results, the Spartans moved to 5-3 in the Big Ten, putting them at sixth place behind: Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, and Iowa. The Spartans also move to 20-12 overall. Coming up for MSU is a mid-week matchup against the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor on April 18. The Spartans will then travel to College Park for a weekend series against the Terrapins of Maryland on April 21-23.