Apr 8, 2012

Spartans Fall 4-3 To Michigan In Front of Record Crowd

MSU Athletics
By Sean Gagnier

Michigan State continued to struggle with runners on base for the second straight day, falling 4-3 to Michigan, in front of a McLane Baseball Stadium record 2,734 crowd, despite amassing 13 hits and leaving 10 runners on base. The loss dropped the Spartans record to 18-10, 2-3 in the Big Ten.

Five Spartans collected two hits apiece, but despite the efforts of Jordan Keur, Torsten Boss, Justin Scanlon, Blaise Salter and Anthony Cheky the Spartans couldn't hold onto an early lead.

Salter used his two hits to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead after four innings with his RBI singles in the second and fourth. The lead was short lived as Michigan tied things up in the fifth off a Dylan Delaney two-run single to center.

With things knotted at two, the Spartans regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth by capitalizing on two errors by the Wolverines. Keur singled to left to lead off the inning. Then on a wild pitch by Michigan starter Trent Szkutnik he advanced to second base, but the Wolverines catcher, Cole Martin, overthrew the bag and the ball landed in center field. Keur took advantage of this to advance 90 more feet to third base. Center fielder Patrick Biondi grabbed the overthrown ball and attempted to cut down Keur at third, he however, missed the bag which allowed Keur to cover the last 90 feet to give the Spartans a 3-2 lead.

The lead was not to be however, as the Wolverines tied and then passed the Spartans in the top of the sixth inning. Martin redeemed himself with an RBI groundout that tied the game at three. Then a John DiLaura single chased Spartan starter Andrew Waszak from the game leaving runners on first and third with two outs.

Spartans coach Jake Boss, Jr. turned to his beast in the bullpen, Jeff Kinley, who had not allowed a run in his previous four outings. Kinley was unable to keep that streak alive as he allowed a hit to pinch hitter Kevin Krantz that put the Wolverines ahead 4-3.

Despite giving up the run in the sixth Kinley gave Michigan State 3.1 innings of solid work, allowing just two more hits and striking out three batters. Waszak was charged with all four runs and the loss on Saturday. He was only able to stay on the mound for 5.2 innings while surrendering eight hits, walking one and striking out four.

Michigan State threatened but did not score in the bottom of the sixth after a leadoff single by Scanlon chased Szkutnik from the mound. The Wolverines handed the ball to Alex Lakatos who was able to wipe the runner from the diamond with a double play. However, he got himself into another jam when he walked Ryan Krill and then giving up a frozen rope to Cheky which reached the right field gap, but a late jump by Krill allowed him to be cut down at home to end the inning.

Like their game on Friday, the Spartans struggled with men on base, managing to get runners on base in the final three innings but failing to get any of them around to score. Michigan State left runners on base in seven innings on Saturday.

The Spartans once again threatened in the eighth when Jimmy Pickens singled and was able to advance to second off a wild pick off toss. A groundout moved him to third base but a popout to second base ended the threat by Michigan State.

Michigan State was able to get Boss on base with two outs in the ninth, but pinch hitter Jared Hook struck out to end the Spartans threat and the game. 

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