Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/7/13
Both teams shake hands after final game in the series On Friday, April 5, Michigan State baseball lost to Michigan 6-3 at their home field, McLane Stadium in East Lansing, MI after football head coach, Mark Dantonio threw the honorable first pitch in the Big Ten home opener for MSU. With the largest attendance in McLane Stadium history and a sellout crowd of 3,018, the Spartans sprung to an early lead in the first inning. Ryan Richardson hit a single to center field for the Spartans, and Jordan Keur followed that with a double, putting Spartans on second and third in the first inning. Ryan Krill earned his 17th RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly, bringing home Richardson to take the 1-0 lead. Later, in the bottom of the fourth, Richardson came through again for Michigan State with his first-career triple, bringing home Anthony Cheky and Cam Gibson and extending the lead to 3-0. The Wolverines, however, rallied in the fifth inning. With runners on second and third, a triple to right field brought home the two on base and thanks to a Spartan error, the third runner would cross the plate, tying the game 3-3 in the top of the fifth. The Wolverines added two more runs, making it 5-3 in the seventh inning, while starting pitcher, Andrew Waszak was replaced by senior Trey Popp on the mound. Again, Michigan extended their lead to 6-3 in the ninth inning and sophomore Mike Mestdagh got the final out for the Spartans. “It was an outstanding crowd today,” head coach Jake Boss said. “Wish we could’ve given them a better show. We took a 3-0 lead and we were pitching around a guy, made a bad pitch, then make an error, and all of a sudden it’s 3-3. We just didn’t play well.” Michigan State fell to the Wolverines 5-1 in the second game of the series on Saturday, April 6, at the Wilpon Complex in Ann Arbor. Michigan made it onto the board in the first inning with two runs, taking an early lead. In the third, Michigan scored another run, yet the Spartans had bases loaded with no outs, but only managed to also score one run. Kevin Goergen made it onto base due to a Michigan error and then both Justin Hovis and Cam Gibson were walked. Ryan Richardson then hit grounder for a Michigan double play, but Goergen managed to make it home safely. The Wolverines added another two runs in the sixth inning, one thanks to a Spartan error, giving them the 5-1 lead. In this second series loss, the Spartans only managed four hits and no RBI’s. Sophomore pitcher Mick VanVossen speaks post game after series ending In the final game of the series on Sunday, April 7, Michigan State was swept for the first time this season and again struggled against Michigan, losing 6-2. In front the 2,923 fans in McLane Stadium, the Spartans took the field rocking their throwback jerseys modeled after the 1954 NCAA World Series team. Sophomore Mick VanVossen started on the mound for the Spartans. In the top of the first inning, Michigan’s Zach Zott hit a homer, bringing in two Wolverines and gaining a 2-0 lead. “It was a good pitch and I tip my hat to him, he hit it hard,” said VanVossen regarding the homer run. Another Michigan run extended their lead 3-0 in the third inning off of a Wolverine double. Again in the sixth, Michigan improved the deficit to 4-0 against the Spartans. However, a sacrifice fly to center field brought in Ryan Richardson and another MSU run put the Spartans on the board 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Trey Popp replaced VanVossen in the eighth and was soon replaced by freshman Justin Alleman in the ninth. In the top of the final inning, a Michigan runner slides into home and is called safe, adding another to lead the Spartans 6-2, who cannot catch up in bottom of the ninth. From this win, Michigan improves 16-14 and 4-2 Big Ten, while the Spartans fall to 17-11 and 2-4 Big Ten. This loss of the series marks the first time the Spartans have gotten swept this season, and it doesn’t help that it was by MSU rival, the Michigan Wolverines. “Offensively, we continue to make the same mistakes and chase balls out of the strike zone,” head coach Jake Boss said in conclusion to the series. “We continue to take quality pitches in hitter counts, and we were not aggressive. If you watch any ball game, the teams that are successful, are doing things the right way. And we aren’t doing that right now.” Michigan State will face Western Michigan, back at their home field in East Lansing, MI, on Tuesday, April 9. The Broncos are 11-19 and 6-12 on the road this season and Chase Rihtarchik will start on the mound for the Spartans. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 pm at McLane Baseball Stadium.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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