Coury: Michigan State Baseball looks to build upon strong season with postseason success


Sarah Smith

Wyatt Rush during the 2022 MSU baseball season. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Matthew Coury, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – With the season wrapping up for Michigan State baseball, the Spartans hit a speed bump by getting swept at Iowa on May 12-14, but had a strong finish in order to keep their season alive. 

Michigan State won its last two regular season games against Indiana and clinched the program’s first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2018. The order may be tall but the team is up for the challenge. There is confidence around the ballclub that they have a chance to make some noise in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The Spartans have had their fair share of ups and downs this season, but the upside has outweighed the bad based on their regular season success. The NCAA preseason predictions had Michigan State sitting near the bottom of the standings at eleventh place in the Big Ten and willed themselves into second place late in the season. The team faced a disappointing setback, losing six straight Big Ten games and falling to eighth place. Despite falling in the standings, the Spartans have proven to be capable of winning tough games. 

They will look to do just that as they merely made the tournament with a 12-12 record in conference play. 

The highlight of this year’s team is its offensive talent. The Spartans rank second in the Big Ten in team batting average with .308 overall. 

MSU’s first five batters are all batting over .300. The shining leader is first baseman Brock Vradenburg, who has a .392 batting average,good for second best in the Big Ten. 

“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 every day,” said head coach Jake Boss Jr. 

A problem with the team’s offense has been consistency. In wins this season, MSU has recorded an average of over nine runs per game. In losses, they average just over three runs.

After a rough start, Michigan State’s pitching has improved. The team ERA decreased from 7.21 to 5.50 by the end of the season. 

The Spartans hope to shape up with the tournament in sight. Despite the team’s struggles early on, MSU has improved over the course of the season. 

“They never get too high and they never get too low,” said Boss Jr.

“You know, in a game that’s based on failure, basically. And so it’s just a really mature approach out of these guys. And, you know, I give them a lot of credit,” said Boss Jr.

“This is a team that no matter what happens they keep their head down and continue to work but only take it one game at a time.” 

After a big series win against Indiana, the Spartans look on to play the Big Ten winning Maryland Terrapins and hope to prove doubters wrong. Regardless of the future outcome, this season has been one to be proud of. 

The eighth seeded Spartans play one seed Maryland in round one of the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha on May 23 at 7 pm.