EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The 11th Annual Crosstown Showdown Fall Fanfest presented by Auto Owners Insurance, an exhibition between the Lansing Lugnuts and Michigan State Spartans, will be played on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Gates open at 5 p.m. before the home run derby gets underway at 5:30 p.m. The Spartans and Lugnuts will then play a seven-inning game starting at 7 p.m., followed by a post-game fireworks display.
The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative baseball cap featuring both the Lugnut and Michigan State logos.
“It’s always a fun atmosphere. Moving the game to the fall was originally the idea that came from the Lugnuts. I thought it was a great idea adding the home run derby before the game, trying to involve as many people in the community as possible. It turned into a great atmosphere last year and looking forward to much of the same this year,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said.
Last year, the Lugnuts topped the Spartans, 4-1, as a crowd of 8,432 was on hand to watch the annual exhibition game.
“Our guys are excited to play, it’s always a great learning experience for our guys to play the pro guys. It is every one of my guys’ goals to play at the next level and this gives them a taste of what it’s like. They hear from alums that come back in the fall and talk about their experiences in pro baseball and this is a chance for them to get a taste of that,” Boss said.
Last season was the first home run derby, with three players from each team taking part. Marty Bechina, Zack McGuire and Durkin participated for the Spartans. After slugging 10 home runs in the opening round, Durkin advanced to the final round where the Lugnuts’ Connor Panas outdueled him, 14-10.
“This event is a win-win for us. I know the Lugnuts’ season ends on Monday so a lot of credit and thanks to those guys for sticking around one extra day because they’ve been grinding since March,” Boss said. “It should be a lot of fun and I’m excited for the community to see the next group of Spartans.”
Tickets are available through the Michigan State ticket office and the Lugnuts ticket office.