MSU baseball sweeps Northwestern, moves to second in B1G standings


Jack Moreland

Michigan State celebrates after a victory against Western Illinois on April 14, 2023. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Matthew Coury, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State Spartans wrapped up their weekend on Sunday afternoon with a three game sweep of the Northwestern Wildcats. Coming off of a Saturday doubleheader in which the Spartans outscored the Wildcats 14-6, Michigan State looked to continue its strong offense to finish off the series. 

A double by infielder Casey Mayes sparked the scoring for Michigan State. This was the senior’s twenty third RBI to knock in Dillon Kark, and put MSU up by one run early on. 

The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning when Northwestern thought they had the lead off of a two run home run but it was then reviewed and determined to be a foul ball. The Wildcats stranded the runner and left the inning scoreless in the top of the fifth. 

A big bottom half of the fifth inning started with a Brock Vradenburg double and Bryan Broecker tripled after clearing the bases and plating two pivotal runs for the Spartans. Dillon Kark followed with another two-run triple to extend their lead to five runs. 

Northwestern’s bats came to life in the sixth inning, plating two runs on a sacrifice fly and an RBI double by senior Kevin Ferrer. These would be the only runs they were able to score for the game. 

Left-handed pitcher Nick Powers had a strong outing Sunday, propelling him to a 5-0 record on the season. In six innings of work he only allowed two runs on five hits complemented by six strikeouts. 

The seventh inning started with a pair of walks early that became costly as Dillon Kark got a hold of a pitch left high in the zone for a three run home run. This was Kark’s fifth home run of the season and extended the Michigan State lead to six runs. A costly overthrow by Northwestern allowed Greg Zeigler to score the ninth and final Michigan State run as they would go on to win by a final of 9-2. 

Junior Dillon Kark had an outstanding day with two triples and a home run. Kark was responsible for five of the team’s nine runs.

“There’s still a bunch of guys that love to compete down toward the middle and the bottom of the order too, and it can really be somebody different any day,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss in regards to the team’ s top down confidence for players such as Kark.

This Big Ten series sweep puts Michigan State in sole possession of second place in the Big Ten with a 10-5 conference record. “Don’t write us off. We’re gonna play hard whether we win or lose,” said Boss Jr. “I don’t know that our guys are too hung up on it either.” 

With a few Big Ten matchups looming the Spartans look to take their games one day at a time and see where it takes them. “We’re gonna do what we can do to try to win all of them,” said Boss Jr. 

With Sunday’s game in the books, the Spartans improve to 28-13 overall and extend their win streak to five straight games. The Wildcats fall to 7-31. Michigan State will travel to Champaign for an important three game series against Illinois. Game one is slated for Friday, May 5 at 7 P.M.