MSU Baseball falls to Gardner-Webb, 7-3


MSU Baseball during National Anthem

Evan Katz, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State baseball team played their second game of the weekend in the One Spartanburg, Inc. Baseball Classic on Saturday afternoon against Gardner-Webb, losing by a score of 7-3.

In MSU’s first matchup in the invitational on Friday, the Spartans beat University of South Carolina Upstate by a score of 13-6. Gardner-Webb defeated Northwestern 6-2, in their first game. 

Two batters in, Gardner-Webb came out of the gate swinging. Senior left handed hitter Curtis Robison hit a solo home run to right field off redshirt sophomore MSU pitcher Noah Matheny, making the score 1-0 in favor of Gardner-Webb in the first.

Gardner-Webb tacked on another run in the third, making the score 2-0, after sophomore second baseman AJ Solomon doubled to start the inning. Solomon   eventually scored off a sacrifice fly to center field. 

In the bottom half of the fourth, Matheny’s day ended after two base runners got on. Matheny handed the ball over to MSU pitcher Nick Powers, before handing the ball to Harrison Cook to finish the inning. Gardner-Webb ended up extending their lead, to five. 

Matheny’s final line was three IP, four hits on four earned runs with one walk and three strikeouts. Matheny picks up his second loss of the season. 

In the top of the fifth, Michigan State rallied with two outs in the inning, scoring three runs. Junior shortstop Mitch Jebb doubled to left center, scoring juniors Trent Farquhar and Dillion Kark. Junior Brock Vradenburg also got in the action, singling and scoring Jebb, and cutting Gardner Webb’s lead to two. 

Bottom half of the fifth, junior designated hitter Bo Rusher III hit a two run homer to center field, bringing Gardner-Webb’s lead back to four, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.

“I didn’t think we particularly swung the bat well today, obviously as we’ve done in the past few games,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “You’ve got to credit their left-hander starter (Tyler Switalski) a little bit, he got us to chase some balls out of the strike zone with his breaking ball and that was unfortunate for us. But we just didn’t do enough to get ourselves back into the ballgame when we got down, and that was disappointing, but that’s the way the game is. We still have a chance to basically win the series tomorrow, so we need to play well and hopefully we can get that done.”

Michigan State (4-2) will play Presbyterian ( 4-2 ) on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. EST.