March 9, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - After taking a pair of games from 21st-ranked TCU on Friday and Saturday, the Michigan State baseball team came up short in its attempt to sweep the weekend series, falling 6-2, on Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.
Michigan State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning, but the Horned Frogs responded in the bottom of the frame with two runs of their own to reclaim the lead for good. TCU tacked on two more runs in the eighth to put the game away.
TCU (9-6) starting pitcher Tyler Alexander earned the win as he held MSU to two runs off seven hits in six-complete innings.
Sunday marked the end of the Spartans' eight-game spring trip which included five contests against ranked opponents. MSU finished the trip 3-5 and is now 7-7 on the season.
"I think we're better at the end of this trip than we were at the beginning," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "In looking at the trip in three sections - the first weekend, midweek and these last three games - we were not very good in first two parts of the trip. But, we came here and took two out of three form a very a good TCU team, which is very encouraging. It's certainly something to build off to go into next week against Harvard."
Kevin Cron's one-out RBI triple in the bottom of the first inning got the scoring started. Cron then scored in the next at-bat when Derek Odell plated him with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 TCU advantage.
Michigan State had runners on base in each of the first three innings and a Ryan Krill single with one out in the top of the fourth continued the theme for the Spartans. Joel Fisher took advantage as he belted his second home run of the year over the right field wall to knot the game, 2-2.
Jimmy Pickens followed with a single and then stole second to try and extend the Spartan rally, but Alexander was able to induce a consecutive groundball outs to end the threat.
The tie game didn't last long though as Jeremie Fagnan hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to give the Horned Frogs back the lead, 4-2.
Spartan reliever Anthony Misiewicz, who took over for starter Chase Rihtarchik in the fifth, worked out of a jam in the sixth after giving up a pair of singles to start the inning, keeping it a two-run game.
TCU was eventually able to extend its lead with two more runs in the eighth.
The TCU bullpen was able to hold the lead by limiting the Spartans to just one hit over the final three innings.
Michigan State will be back in action next weekend at the annual Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational where it will face Harvard in a three-game series beginning on Friday.
"Our challenge now is to have a good week of practice and develop some consistency in all three phases of the game - hitting, defense and pitching," said Boss.