Michigan State drops both games in pod play, including blown 7-0 lead in ninth inning


MSU first baseman/ pitcher Zach Iverson swings at a pitch/ Photo Credit: Jeremy Fleming/MSU Athletic Communications

Owen Oszust, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State Spartans entered Sunday’s pod play doubleheader with a 5-4 record. MSU would finish the doubleheader below the .500 mark after dropping the first game of the afternoon 7-3 against Illinois. It then lost 8-7 to Michigan on a walk-off three-run home run to end the night.

The first game of the doubleheader was all Fighting Illini in an offensive show for Illinois. Branden Comia was able to drive in a first inning run for Illinois on a fielder’s choice. Kellen Sarver and Cam McDonald both had hits that would result in three RBIs in the bottom of the third.

MSU senior Sam Benshoter would go only two and a third innings in a start where he really struggled, giving up eight hits and five runs.

MSU’s bullpen was effective in relief, giving up just one run the rest of the way.

MSU junior infielder Zach Iverson would have a two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth inning to make it a 5-1 game.

Freshman infielder Trent Farquhar and sophomore outfielder Zaid Walker would produce late runs in the contest to make it a 7-3 final with Ryan O’Hara picking up his first victory of the season for the Fighting Illini.

With the loss, Benshoter fell to 1-1 on the season and saw his ERA rise to 12.15 on the season with no strikeouts in the performance either.

The second game looked much better for the Spartans on both sides of the ball until an absolute bullpen collapse in the final frame. MSU was able to get plenty of production against Michigan with six different Spartans driving in runs.

Freshman infielder Mitch Jebb and senior infielder Bailey Peterson both had RBI knocks in the second inning to jump the Spartans out front early. 

MSU continued its offensive entourage in the fifth inning with an Iverson RBI double and a Walker RBI single as well.

Walker would stay hot with a 3-5 performance and drive in another run in the seventh on a screaming double down the leftfield line. 

Senior first baseman Joe Stewart would go 7-10 at the dish for the day, driving in one of the Spartans’ two runs in the eighth inning to give the team a 7-0 lead heading to the last inning.

Starting pitcher Adam Berghorst continued his strong pitching performance from last weekend giving up no runs on just three hits in five and a third. Berghorst was able to lower his ERA to just 1.93 on the season and should have earned the win.