Jason Savacool shuts down MSU bats as Spartans drop first game of 2021


McLane Baseball Stadium/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Zach Surdenik, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — Michigan State was unable to finish the first weekend of the 2021 season undefeated after dropping Sunday afternoon’s game to Maryland, 3-2. Maryland freshman Jason Savacool pitched a complete game and picked up the win for the Terrapins. 

The Spartans had multiple chances late in the game to pick up a second-straight comeback victory, but were unable to take control away from Savacool. MSU was 2-14 with runners on base in the game and left four runners on base. 

The Spartans scored one run in both the seventh and the eighth innings, but were unable to put anything else on the board against the star freshman for the Terrapins. 

Freshman Nick Powers got the start for MSU and was solid in his first collegiate start. He pitched five innings and gave up two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six batters. Sophomore Burrell Jones and redshirt sophomore Wyatt Rush came into the game in relief and kept the Spartans in the game by combining for five strikeouts and allowing just one run in four innings of work. 

The biggest bright spot for MSU offensively was junior Zach Iverson. The two-way player was in the lineup as the designated hitter and went 2-4 with an RBI. 

Maryland got the scoring started in the second inning when sophomore Troy Schreffler Jr. scored fellow sophomore Bobby Zmarzlak with a sacrifice fly. The Terrapins added a second run in the third on a Randy Bednar RBI single. 

The Spartans brought things to within one run in the sixth inning on Iverson’s RBI single, but Maryland quickly pushed the lead back to two on shortstop Benjamin Cowles’ RBI single. 

MSU brought the deficit back to one on freshman Dillon Kark’s sacrifice fly in the seventh but were unable to tie up the ball game and took the 3-2 loss. 

The Spartans fall to 3-1 on the season, but are starting to put the Big Ten on notice as they can be no lower than second place entering the second weekend of play. MSU is back in action on Friday night against the Northwestern Wildcats (2-2) at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C.