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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Following series loss to Maryland, Spartans head to Ann Arbor

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McLane Baseball Stadium at night/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

EAST LANSING – Upon opening Big Ten play in College Park against Maryland over the weekend, the Michigan State baseball team will travel to Ann Arbor on Tuesday to face rival Michigan in their first and only road matchup with the Wolverines in 2024. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. at Ray Fisher Stadium.

With two outs in the ninth inning on Friday, graduate catcher Sam Thompson played hero ball for the Spartans, as his RBI single tied the game at five and sent the contest to extras. Unfortunately for the Spartans, they fell to Maryland, 7-6 in extra innings. On Saturday, Michigan State took an early 2-0 lead, and later a 5-2 victory over Maryland, as Nick Powers powered MSU to a victory behind eight innings of two-run ball.

With the series on the line on Sunday, all eyes were on Nick Ferazzi. The graduate right-hander dazzled on Sunday afternoon, punching out seven Terrapin hitters in six innings, the most of his tenure in green and white. Spurred by home runs from Sam Busch and Christian Williams, the Spartans sported a 4-1 lead after seven innings.

Maryland ultimately tied the game at four, and forced extra innings, in which they took a 5-4 victory, as well as the opening series of Big Ten play. Sunday’s victory was Maryland’s second walk-off victory of the weekend.

MSU will face an uphill battle in Ann Arbor in slowing down Michigan’s red-hot slugger Stephen Hrustich, whose seven home runs are second in the Big Ten on the young season. Hrustich is one of three Wolverines with an OPS above 1.000 and is fresh off of a five-RBI weekend, including another home run in State College.

Hrustich, a graduate outfielder from Stone Mountain, Georgia, was on fire as of late, with a .417/.553/.889 slash line with four homers and ten RBIs over his last ten games. Hrustich and two-way star Mitch Voit, who leads the Wolverines with a .327 batting average, will be players to watch on Tuesday.

Outside of Hrustich, Michigan’s lineup has struggled, as the Wolverines sit dead last in the Big Ten in batting average with a .242 clip. On the defensive side, it has been a season to forget, as they are second-to-last in earned run average allowing almost seven runs per game.

As for the Spartans, freshman infielder Ryan McKay was on a tear of his own, as his .344 average sits second on the team, only behind senior Jack Frank. McKay went 3-4 on Saturday’s victory for Michigan State, as his strong play left him in the starting lineup full-time.

With the series loss, Michigan State fell to 9-12 with their date with Michigan looming. In four meetings in 2023, including a Spartan victory in Phoenix, the in-state rivals split the season series, 2-2, though Michigan won the series in Ann Arbor. Michigan State is 112-215-2 against the Wolverines all time, and looks to get back into the win column on Tuesday.

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