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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Goodbye, MSU | Adam Steinhauer
Adam Steinhauer, Marketing Director • May 10, 2024
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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
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MSU baseball clinches series win vs Penn State after 11-5 Saturday victory

MSU+baseball+clinches+series+win+vs+Penn+State+after+11-5+Saturday+victory
Jack Moreland

East Lansing- On a chilly and cloudy day in East Lansing, the Michigan State Spartans hosted the Penn State Nittany Lions in the middle game of a three-game weekend set at McLane Stadium.

Nick Powers was the starter for MSU, and the Nittany Lions struck early in the first, after a lead-off walk and hit by pitch, Adam Cecere ripped an RBI single just past Ryan McKay and into right field to give PSU a 1-0 lead. Nick Powers was able to limit the damage, with some soft contact to get out of the inning

Senior Jaden Henline got the start for PSU and retired the Spartans in order to start off the game. Powers was able to bounce back in the second inning, navigating around a one-out hit, and inducing a double play.

Henline got around a lead-off walk to get through two innings unscathed, Powers got himself into more trouble in the third, after a two-out single and double by JT Marr and Adam Cecere respectively but got out of the jam after inducing a groundout to shortstop Randy Seymour.

After a lead-off walk for Sam Thompson, it was then Dillon Kark who hit an infield single in the shortstop hole, as the Spartans evened up the ball game at 1 after a two-out error by the PSU third basemen Bryce Molinaro. 

MSU took the lead on the next batter, as the freshman McKay looped a two-single into left center, and continued to pour it on, as Greg Ziegler stayed hot, extending his on-base streak to ten games, and giving the Spartans a 3-1 lead.

“We talked before the game just about a consistent offensive approach, and I thought we did that again today for the second day in a row,” said MSU Head Coach Jake Boss Jr.

“Just really proud of the effort that our guys had offensively today”

Powers was really able to settle in the middle innings, retiring Penn State in order in the fourth and fifth innings, holding the Spartan lead

“I’m usually a guy that likes to work quickly, I don’t take a lot of time between pitches,” Powers said.

“Hitters don’t have a lot of time to get ready in between pitches so, I think that did factor into the success tonight.”

After getting two quick outs in the sixth inning, Powers gave up a solo shot to PSU shortstop Grant Norris, to cut the Michigan State lead in half, to 3-2. For Norris, it was his second home run of the weekend and eleventh of the season.

MSU led off the bottom half of the inning with back-to-back doubles, starting with Christian Williams, who was driven in by Sam Busch to extend the lead back to two runs. 

“It started in BP, we had really good energy and fine-tuned our approach in these last two days,” said Busch. “We had the runners moving, some hit and runs, and just kinda started rolling”

After an infield single by Sam Thompson moved Busch over to third, Randy Seymour drove Busch on another infield single, pushing the MSU lead to 5-2. 

The Spartans tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly for Jack Frank. Kark, and Nick Williams, who picked up his third hit of the day, moving Seymour over to third on the single, Nick Williams added on an RBI single to give MSU their fourth run of the inning, making the score 7-2. 

Greg Ziegler picked up his second RBI and base hit of the day respectively, with a two-out single, as the Spartans batted around in the sixth inning, scoring five runs and taking an 8-2 lead. 

Nick Powers closed out a strong outing in the seventh, posting another scoreless inning in another impressive effort for the Michigan State Saturday starter. His final line: seven innings pitched, with five strikeouts, only allowing one walk, six hits, and two runs en route to his sixth win of the season. 

“He went into damage control early and just gave up the one run, which was a big play in the game,” Boss said. “I thought he threw really really well.”

Thompson and Seymour lined back-to-back one-out singles to start another rally in the seventh, leading to Jack Frank ripping a two-run double down the right field line to extend Michigan State’s lead to 10-2 and add to his team-high in RBI with 30, including three on the day today. Frank’s hit also gave every Spartan starter a hit on the day. 

Nick Williams drove in another run, on a hard-hit double into the gap to drive in Frank and put MSU up 11-2, giving the Spartans their third run of the inning. The Spartans scored eight unanswered runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.

“When our guys are hitting the ball and scoring runs it gives me confidence,” said Powers on the offensive outburst.

Gannon Grundman came on for Michigan State in the eighth and allowed a 2-run home run to Grant Norris with 2 outs to cut the lead down to 11-4. For Norris it was his second home run of the game, third of the series, and twelfth of the season.

After failing to add any more runs in the bottom half, the Spartans sent out Freshman Logan Pikur to pick up the final three outs of the game for Michigan State. He was able to retire the side while only allowing one run, to secure the 11-5 victory for MSU.

“The goal is to win the weekend, and now we’ve done that, so the focus shifts to tomorrow,” Boss said. “We have an opportunity to get back to .500 after a bad weekend last weekend, and tomorrow is the biggest game of the year because it’s the next one.”

MSU picks up the series win against Penn State and improves to 17-19 on the season, and 5-6 in conference play, with their third straight win. The win also marks the Spartan’s first win in a three-game series against the Nittany Lions since 2016.  

“Pitchers have been going great for us, and hitters too, and tomorrow’s a really big one for us, we’re really focused on tomorrow, and getting back into the race into the Big Ten,” Busch said. 

Michigan State will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon in East Lansing looking to get back to .500 in Big Ten play. The probable starters for tomorrow are Frankie Sanchez for PSU and Nick Ferazzi for MSU. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jack Moreland
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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