Spartans Erupt For 17-5 Victory Over Huskers Saturday
MSU wins game one of doubleheader, game two cancelled due to cold temperatures.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State baseball erupted for a 17-5 victory over Nebraska in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader Saturday afternoon and the second game was called off due to cold temperatures at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.
Despite game-time temperatures in the low 30’s, the Spartan bats were hot, erupting for five runs in the first en route to a season-high run output. The 17 runs was the most since also scoring 17 at Illinois last season on March 26 in a 17-6 victory for MSU.
“We obviously got off to a good start. We had some good at-bats there in the first and capitalized on maybe a mistake or two there, but you know that’s something we’ve had a little bit of trouble doing early in the season,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said.
Michigan State also rapped out a season-high 15 hits, led by junior third baseman Marty Bechina going 3-for-4 with four RBI, all season highs, while tying his career-high for RBI.
“It was good to see a couple of guys kind of break out today. Marty had a big day, Adam Proctor had a good day at the plate today after not playing for a couple of weeks,” Boss said. “It’s always good to put a big number up and hopefully that can continue to kind of kick start things for us here offensively. But I think we’ve been showing signs lately, and fortunately put it together today.”
Bechina’s hitting outburst was a sign of a breakout for him, as it was just his third multi-hit outing this season.
“I’d say it’s about time,” Bechina said with a laugh. “We know what we’re capable of and to finally actually come out here and do it is a good sign. For me personally, I had a good week of working on things and to see them go to good out there it’s good to see.”
Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly was 3-for-4 with a run scored, while freshman shortstop Ryan King was 2-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore left fielder Bryce Kelley was 2-for-3 with two RBI and freshman catcher Adam Proctor was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Senior pitcher Ethan Landon went five innings, scattering seven hits, striking out one, getting his first win of the season.
“Good to finally get his first win. Ethan has certainly pitched better than what his record shows. So for him we’re happy that he was able to get his first W of the year. Sometimes it’s a little bit different when you get a big lead early. We put a five-spot up for him there in the first and there’s a fine line between getting too comfortable and still going out and attacking hitters. You have to guard against getting complacent. So I thought he did a nice job. He made some big pitches in the middle of the game when he needed to to get us out of that jam and to keep the lead, so I’m very pleased with his effort,” Boss said.
Landon has now gone at least five innings in seven of his eight starts.
“You know it feels good as a team, we feel like we’re turning the corner so it’s nice to get the first one out of the way and beat a good team like Nebraska,” Landon said.
Landon, a South Dakota native, wasn’t fazed by the cold temperatures, pitching in short-sleeves all day.
“Oh yeah, I’ve been pitching in the cold my whole life so that was something that I’ve been doing; that was nothing new to me, so it was nice to get out there and get a win,” Landon said.
Sophomore reliever Mitchell Tyranski pitched the final four innings and fired a career-high nine strikeouts to earn the save, his second of the season.
Nebraska’s Luis Alvarado was dealt the loss, sliding to 2-3 on the season.
Michigan State bolted out of the gates with five runs in the bottom of the first, batting around and sending 10 batters to the plate, taking advantage of two Nebraska errors. King and Kelley both had two-run singles in the frame as the Spartans had a 5-0 lead after one.
Nebraska got on the board in the top of the third on an RBI single by Jesse Wilkening. The Huskers closed to 5-4 in the fifth after plating three runs, with a two-run single by Ben Klenke.
The Spartans got a run back in the home half of the fifth after Bechina sparked the rally with a two-out double to right center and Proctor followed with a single down the right field line putting the home team ahead, 6-4.
Michigan State blew the game open by hanging nine runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, with King and Roskelly leading off with back-to-back singles. After sophomore Danny Gleaves pinch-ran for Roskelly, Bechina then belted a double to left center to plate both King and Gleaves. After Proctor walked, Kelley reached on an throwing error and moved all the way to third, with Bechina and Proctor scoring. Later, senior first baseman Zack McGuire had an RBI single, King drew a bases-loaded RBI walk, Gleaves added an RBI groundout, and Bechina had an RBI infield single and the Spartans opened up a 15-4 lead.
The home team tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, on a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Kory Young and sophomore center fielder Justin Antoncic scored on an error off the bat of junior right fielder Dan Chmielewski.
Nebraska scored a run in the ninth on a home run by Scott Schreiber to complete the scoring.
MSU and Nebraska will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at 11:05 a.m., due to Nebraska’s travel schedule.
Any schedule updates will be announced on www.MSUSpartans.com and on twitter @statebaseball.