April 3, 2014
LANSING - The Lansing Lugnuts topped Michigan State, 3-2, in the eighth annual Crosstown Showdown on a cold Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing. The Spartans pulled within a run twice in the exhibition game, but were unable to tie it up.
"It was a fun night. We got just about everybody in the game, which is important for our guys to get a chance to experience playing against a professional organization," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "It was a pretty good crowd, all things considered.
"I thought we played well. We made a couple mistakes early, but overall, I was pretty pleased," said Boss.
Senior Joel Fisher led MSU at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double.
Lugnuts starting pitcher Tom Robson, one of the Toronto Blue Jays' top prospects, started and yielded one earned run off two hits in three complete innings. He also had five strikeouts.
Spartan senior Mike Theodore also pitched three complete innings in his start, allowing two runs (one earned) off three hits.
The Lugnuts struck first, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Santiago Nessy drove an RBI single through the left side and Derrick Loveless later reached on an error, allowing Justin Atkinson to score from third for a 2-0 lead.
Fisher picked up MSU's first hit of the game with a one-out single in the top of the third inning. Two batters later, Anthony Cheky drove the first pitch he saw through the middle, scoring Fisher to make it 2-1.
Theodore and Mike Mestdagh combined to hold the Lugnuts scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Lansing plated an unearned run off Zak Wilkerson as Seth Conner had a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-1.
The Spartans will host Siena this weekend in their first home series at McLane Baseball Stadium. The two teams will meet in a doubleheader at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday and then in a single game on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Notes: Thursday night's paid attendance was 4,455 ... The Lugnuts now lead the all-time series, 6-2 ... Thursday marked the earliest the Crosstown Showdown had been played since the inaugural game on April 3, 2007 ... Five of the eight games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer.