May 10, 2014
EAST LANSING - The Nebraska Cornhuskers used a four-run third inning to get past the Michigan State baseball team, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium. The Spartans are now 26-21 overall and 8-11 in Big Ten play, while Nebraska improved to 33-17 and 14-5 in the conference.
"Another close one again today," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "We've been close all year, but close doesn't get it done. I appreciate our effort. I thought our effort was really good, but we had opportunities to make plays and didn't. They had opportunities to make plays and they did; that was the difference in the ballgame."
Nebraska's four-run third inning started with consecutive singles by Steven Reveles and Ryan Boldt. With Reveles at third and Boldt at first, Jake Placzek reached on an error to bring in the first run. A walk then loaded the bases for Pat Kelly, who cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to give Nebraska a 4-0 lead.
Nebraska starting pitcher Chance Sinclair held MSU to just two hits until the Spartan offense got on track in the bottom of the fifth.
Ryan Krill got the first of four hits in the inning with a one-out double into the gap in right center field. The next batter, Ryan Richardson, hit a ball toward first baseman Blake Headley who picked it up and attempted to throw out Krill at third. The ball sailed away on the throw, allowing Krill to score and Richardson to take second.
Johnny Nate cut the Spartans' deficit in half with an RBI single to left field, plating Richardson. Cam Gibson followed two batters later by lifting a double into right center field, scoring Nate to pull the Spartans within one, 4-3.
As the game moved into the sixth, Anthony Misiewicz took over for starter Mick VanVossen with one out and two Huskers on base. Misiewicz kept it a one-run game by getting both hitters he faced to ground out.
The Huskers were able to extend their lead to 5-3 in the top of the eighth. Kelly led off with a double and came around to score on a fielder's choice by Tanner Lubach.
Sinclair faced the minimum in four of his seven-complete innings. He struck out two and didn't issue a walk in improving to 8-1.
Josh Roeder gave up a two-out hit to Richardson in the bottom of the ninth, but got Nate to ground out to end the game and earn his 11th save.
VanVossen fell to 6-3 with the loss.
Nearly 200 Spartan alums were on hand for Saturday's game as part of Alumni Weekend and the 130th anniversary of Michigan State baseball. Members of the 1954 Big Ten championship team that also advanced to the College World Series threw out ceremonial first pitches. The team was honored along with Spartans from other eras throughout the game.
"I want to thank all the alumni that came out today. It was unbelievable to have so many former players here," Boss said. "It's really special to have a group of guys that played here and have a great appreciation for what it means to wear the Green and White. It means a lot to our team and the entire program for them to be here and I want to thank them personally."
The Spartans and Huskers will meet again tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. The Spartans will honor their senior class prior to the game at approximately 12:30.