ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan State baseball lost at No. 15 Michigan, 12-4, Tuesday night in a non-conference match-up at Wilpon Complex.
The Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and later took a 4-3 advantage in the top of the fifth, but were unable to hold on to that lead and suffered defeat for the first time in the last three games against the Wolverines. Despite Tuesday’s loss, MSU has still won four of the last six meetings with UM. Tuesday’s game was a non-conference midweek contest, as the two teams will meet in a three-game Big Ten Conference series the last weekend of the regular season, May 18-20.
“I think we were ready to play early. We hit some balls hard in the first and hit some balls hard in the first five innings, but only had four hits to show for it. I thought the approach early on was pretty good, but we could never game momentum and then it went south on us,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr., said.
With Tuesday’s loss, MSU is now 20-13 on the season, while UM improved to 30-7 with its fifth win in a row.
The Spartans were led by senior second baseman Dan Durkin’s 1-for-3 outing with a two-run double in the fifth that gave MSU the lead. Sophomore right fielder Dan Chmielewski was also 1-for-3 with an RBI triple in the first and added an RBI in the fifth on a fielder’s choice, later scoring on Durkin’s double. Freshman left fielder Bryce Kelley was 1-for-3 with a single on the opening at bat of the game, scoring on Chmielewski’s triple. Junior catcher Matt Byars was 1-for-3 with a double, as MSU was limited to four hits.
Michigan State got on the board early with a run in the visitor’s first frame, as leadoff hitter Kelley opened the game with a bunt single. Chmielewski then drove in Kelley with an RBI triple to center, that got past Michigan center fielder Johnny Slater for a 1-0 Spartan lead.
UM countered with not just one but two runs in the home half of the first, taking a 2-1 advantage. The Wolverines added to that lead with a run in the third for a 3-1 score.
MSU plated three in the top of the fifth, as sophomore shortstop Royce Ando and junior first baseman Zack McGuire had back-to-back walks, chasing UM starting pitcher Michael Hendrickson. After a sac bunt by freshman center fielder Robbie Jones, Kelley walked to load the bases. Chmielewski followed with a fielder’s choice to third, with Kelley getting thrown out at second, but plating Ando. Durkin then followed with a double off the right field wall, less than a foot from going over, to drive in McGuire and Chmielewski, and give the Spartans the 4-3 advantage.
The lead was short-lived as UM added a run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score, then added four in both the sixth and seventh innings for the 12-4 gap and final scoring.
Michigan State resumes B1G action with the Spartans’ first-ever trip to College Park, Md., to take on league preseason favorite Maryland in a three-game weekend series April 21-23. MSU returns home to host Toledo on Wednesday, April 26 at 3:05 p.m. at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.
Fans should stay tuned to www.MSUSpartans.com, or follow MSU Baseball on twitter at statebaseball for any schedule updates.