Spartans Victorious in First Collegiate Game at Comerica Park
April 20, 2011
DETROIT, Mich. - In the first collegiate baseball game at Comerica Park, the Michigan State baseball team beat Central Michigan, 3-1 on Wednesday night in downtown Detroit. The Spartans, who improve to 23-10 on the season, scored all their runs in the first inning and received a strong performance from Andrew Waszak on the mound.
"The whole night was a lot of fun for everyone," said MSU head coach Jake Boss. "Regardless of the outcome of the game, all in all, it was a great experience. Our guys played well. I was real proud of the way we pitched it, and I was real proud of the defense we played. We put a few together there in the first, and thankfully it held up."
The Spartans jumped ahead of the Chippewas in the top of the first inning with three runs. With one out, Ryan Jones extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a single through the right side. Jeff Holm followed with a double into the left centerfield gap, scoring Jones from first. Holm would come around to score on a throwing error by the CMU second baseman for the inning's second run. Torsten Boss, who walked earlier in the inning, would plate for the final run of the inning on a RBI groundout by Joel Fisher.
Central Michigan got on the board in the bottom of the first behind a RBI double by William Arnold.
Both starting pitchers - Waszak and Bryce Morrow for CMU - settled down after the initial inning, posting scoreless frames for the rest of the game. Waszak combined with Tim Simpson and Bryce Jenney for the win.
After CMU's run, Waszak retired the next eight batters and 20 of his last 24. Waszak went seven innings to improve to 3-2 on the season, allowing just that one run on five hits. He struck out a season-high six batters and walked only one. The outing was his longest of the season and the second longest in his career.
"Andrew threw well," said Boss. "He threw the last time against Central Michigan and I thought threw well that day too. Strikes were the key. I really thought he located well. They hit a lot of balls that seemed to be hit right at guys."
"It was based off the fastball," said Waszak. "I kept it down in the zone and got ahead in the count, and my secondary pitches worked from there. The defense was outstanding tonight."
Simpson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, while Jenney came on for his fourth save of the season.
Holm and Jordan Keur each led MSU with two hits, while Keur saved a run for the Spartans in the fourth with a wall-crashing catch in left field.
"(That was) a great catch," said Boss. "Jordan has made catches like that all year for us. I really feel very good about the fact that we have Jordan in left and Brandon (Eckerle) in center. If the ball is in the air, you really almost feel like if it's not going to be caught, it's going to have to leave the yard. That was a big play in the ballgame."
The hard luck loser for CMU was Morrow, who went eight innings, allowing only one earned run on seven hits.
The Spartans return to Big Ten play on Friday when they travel to Illinois for a three-game set. The first game of the series is set to start at 7:05 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
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