FINAL: Michigan State 8, Western Michigan 3


Sarah Smith

The Michigan State Spartans huddle before a game during the 2022 MSU baseball season. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Evan Katz, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – A game that was originally scheduled to be played in Kalamazoo was moved to East Lansing, due to wet field conditions.Michigan State baseball opened up its schedule at home against Western Michigan on Wednesday afternoon after being on the road for the first 17 games.  MSU rallied back to win 8-3. 

MSU has won 10 of its last 11 home openers.

“It’s great to get the home opener. We’ve been looking forward to this since September,” said MSU head manager Jake Boss Jr. “We love playing at home, we love our park, we love our fans. Good to finally be here after the first 17 games over the four weeks.  It’s always fun playing out here.”

In the first inning, Western Michigan sophomore pitcher Luke Thelen got out of a jam after allowing two walks and hitting one with a pitch. After settling in, he retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced and was throwing a no-hitter until the bottom of the fifth. 

Coming into play Wednesday, MSU had a .318  batting average, and an average of 11.7 hits and 7.7 runs.

Thelen finished his start, pitching four innings, allowing two hits, giving up four walks and striking out five. 

Momentum shifted when MSU junior third baseman Dillon Kark singled, ending Thelen’s no-hitter to lead off the fifth. The Spartans rallied, showing resilience and bringing eight men to the plate, tying the game at three. 

“This is a group that doesn’t get too high or low,” said Boss Jr.  “That’s something we’ve talked about since September as well, so I give ’em a lot of credit. I think our leadership is really good with these guys and our seniors especially. “They bought into that and they’ve kinda taken ownership of that.”

The Spartans broke the game open in the sixth inning, scoring four and putting MSU up 7-3. Trent Farquhar was one of the main contributors in the inning with two RBIs. He finished the day with three.

On the pitching side, MSU junior pitcher Nick Powers was firing on all cylinders out of the bullpen. He was the third Spartan on the mound Wednesday.  He threw 4.2 innings, striking out five, and only giving up one hit.

“I’m really happy for Nick, he started opening night for us and didn’t throw well and he’s had a couple other opportunities and has kinda struggled a little bit,” said Boss Jr. “So for him to get back on the mound and not pack it in and throw the way he did today, hopefully it’s kinda a springboard for the rest of the year for him.”

 “He’s certainly capable,” said Boss Jr. “He’s been our number one guy here in the past and if he can get going like he threw today, and stack up a bunch of different outings like he did today, we’re  going to be in for a good spring. He’s a big part of what we are trying to do this spring.”

The Spartans, (11-7) extend their win streak to six. MSU will open Big Ten play this weekend against Purdue. The first game is at 4:05 p.m. Friday.  MSU will play Western Michigan once more in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, March 29 at 4:05 p.m.