Patience was key, as Michigan State fought back from a six-run deficit to beat the Northwestern Wildcats
In the second game of the series against the Wildcats, Michigan State sent a young freshman arm, Andrew Gonzalez, on the mound to try and right the ship. Gonzalez entered the game at 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He went up against Matt Portland, who has struggled so far on the season, compiling a 1-4 record with a 3.86 ERA.
Gonzalez struggled in the ballgame, but would have to thank his teammates for bailing him out after they battled back all game long to register a win against the Wildcats. Anthony Misiewicz was credited with the win and pitched lights out after Gonzalez was pulled after 2 2/3’s innings of work.
Coach Jake Boss Jr. was very excited about Misiewicz’s performance. “He came in to a tough spot, got us out of a jam and was just lights out, had a big hold, and gave a chance to chip away and get ourselves back in it. “
The Wildcats would put the first score up on the board after Kyle Ruchim came in to score after an error on a ground ball to Ryan Richardson, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The Spartans had an opportunity however in the bottom of the first to score some runs, but a double play and a strikeout ended the offensive threat for Michigan State.
In the third inning, Northwestern had a huge opportunity with the bases loaded and no outs after three base hits. Richardson was unable to turn two, and the Wildcats brought in one run. Matt Hopfner was able to keep the inning alive for NU with a bloop single to left-centerfield, bringing in Zach Jones, which increased the Wildcats lead to 3-0. After a missed tag on a ground ball at third, Gonzalez would hit Connor Lind, bringing in Joe Hoscheit from third, increasing NU’s lead even more to 4-0.
The offensive assault would continue after a rocket line drive up the middle by Grant Peikert, bringing in Cody Stevens and Matt Hopfner, bolstering Northwestern’s daunting lead to 6-0.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Spartans would put their first run on the board after a throwing error past second base, bringing in Johnny Nate, cutting the deficit to 6-1. Michigan State would continue to chop away at the Wildcat lead after a sacrifice fly by Chad Roskelly, scoring Richardson from third and making the lead only four.
In the sixth inning, and after two hits, the Spartans would chip away even more at the Wildcat lead. Roskelly brought in his second RBI on the day with a single into left field, cutting the Wildcat lead to only three.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Spartans, wearing their rally caps, had two men on as Richardson stayed hot on the day and brought in Ryan Krill to cut the lead to two, The rally continued as Anthony Cheky drilled a single past the first baseman, bringing in Mark Weist and cutting the lead to one.
With Spartan fans on their feet Roskelly was up to hit with the chance to tie the game. He sent a shot down the third baseline, which brought in Richardson.
After the game was tied, it was up to pinch-hitter Zack McGuire to bring in the winning run. After McGuire hit a chopper to short, the shortstop wasn’t able to field it cleanly and Cheky was able to score from third, giving MSU the win 7-6.
The win put Michigan State to 17-15 and gives them a chance to win the series against Northwestern. When asked how important this series is to the season Coach Boss said it was crucial.
“Turning the corner, hopefully it gives us some momentum into tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens after that,” Boss said.
Michigan State will send former ace, Mick VanVossen, to the mound tomorrow in order to try and pick up a crucial win for the Spartans in the series finale against Northwestern at 1:05pm.
Photo: Marissa Siegel/MSU Impact Sports