Michigan State returns to McLane Stadium, defeats Notre Dame 12-5


Jack Moreland

Catcher Sam Thompson stands on-deck. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Andrew Buckman, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State returned home Tuesday following a series against Michigan in which they lost two out of three, but finished strong with a 14-2 win against the Wolverines. The Spartan bats stayed hot Tuesday’s game, winning 12-5 in their last regular season matchup against Notre Dame.

Freshman pitcher Robert Klann made his first career start for the Spartans. The Fighting Irish jumped on Klann early in the first, as he gave up two hits, including an RBI double that was smoked into center field by Irish first baseman Carter Putz.

Klann struggled with his command in the first and was unable to find the strike zone, resulting in two walks. The freshman recorded just one out before he was pulled from the game, leaving the bases loaded. He would get bailed out by Harrison Cook, who needed just one pitch to end the inning with a double play.

 The Spartans faced an early 3-0 deficit, but as they have done all season, fought back. Good, patient at bats were key for them in the second inning. The Spartans drew three walks, along with good situational hitting by Mitch Jebb, who went the opposite way to bring in a run. 

The Spartans recorded their second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Trent Farquhar. Along with Klann, it was no different for Irish starter David Lally Jr. Lally Jr. failed to make it out of the second, as walks and pitch count were a problem.

Pitching on both sides took control of the game. Both teams went down 1-2-3 in innings three and four. Irish pitcher Ricky Reeth got himself in a jam in the fifth inning, walking two and throwing two wild pitches, putting runners at the corners. Reeth fell behind 2-0 in the count to Spartan designated hitter Sam Busch, triggering a mound visit from pitching coach Chuck Ristano. On the very next pitch, Busch crushed a deep three-run home run to right field, marking his sixth homer of the season.

The Busch home run appeared to be the turning point in the game for the Spartans, but the Irish continued to go back and forth with MSU. Notre Dame responded with a pair of runs.

There were several long, tiring innings on Spartan and Irish pitching. Both sides combined for a total of 16 walks this game. The Spartans used six pitchers throughout the game, with head coach Jake Boss Jr. relying on his bullpen to record outs in high leverage situations.

MSU loaded the bases in the seventh against pitcher Ryan Lynch. The Spartans cleared the bases on a wild pitch and a single by Frank. The Spartans didn’t stop there, putting the game away with six runs in the inning. 

With the win, Michigan State improves to 25-13, while Notre Dame falls to 23-16. The Spartans will open up a weekend series on Friday, April 28, as they host Northwestern for a three game set from McLane Stadium. First pitch Friday will be at 6:05 p.m.