RECAP: MSU opens season with a win over Michigan


Jack Latterman, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING –  Michigan State Baseball opened their season Friday, Feb. 17 with a win over rival Michigan in Mesa, Arizona.

The Spartans’ season opener came just four days after a mass shooting killed three MSU students and injured five more on the East Lansing campus.

In an interview with MLB Network on Friday morning, manager Jake Boss Jr. addressed the challenging week that his team had endured. 

“It’s been a tough week; Tuesday, we were completely off. Wednesday we wanted to give our guys some space.  Everyone grieves differently, and everyone’s experience was completely different on Monday.  Giving them some time and being there for them, letting them grieve how they grieve is important,” said Boss.  “Once our guys got back together on Thursday as a group, the togetherness part was very important, and it was good for everyone to see one another, getting on the road was really important.”

Before the first pitch on Friday, the teams huddled together behind home plate, embraced, and had a moment of silence to honor the victims.  The Spartans and Wolverines also displayed stickers on their helmets to show support for all of those who were impacted. 

Michigan defeated Fresno State earlier that day, started off hot with the bats, and got out to a 5-1 lead in the second inning.  

The Spartan’s scored seven straight, taking the 8-5 lead into the seventh inning.  Keeping the momentum going, Michigan State finished the game with a 7-3 run, scoring 15 runs and holding their in-state rival to just eight.  

Nick Powers, Joseph Dzierwa, Harrison Cook and Wyatt Rush all pitched for the Spartans, with the win going to Dzierwa in his debut and the save to Rush.  Dzierwa’s 4.2 innings pitched were impressive, allowing no runs and just three hits, as well as striking out five.

Trent Farquhar, Brock Vradenburg and Jack Frank led the team with three hits a piece, and Dillon Kark along with Frank had three RBIs.  

Cody Jefferis batted in three runs for Michigan on his three hits, having a solid offensive game and Wolverine pitcher Chase Allen got the bulk of the work on the mound.

Although the Spartans were thrilled with the opening-day win, this was more than just a game.  Following a big game for the infielder, MSU’s Trent Farquhar spoke his mind about what this game meant to all involved.

We really, really appreciate and respect the coaching staff, their players for dabbing us up before the game, with hugs and stuff like that. So it meant a lot to me, especially being a kid from the state of Michigan, getting to see that rivalry come together. It was just awesome,” Farquhar said.