Michigan State honors 11 seniors, falls to Iowa on Senior Day

Local Sports

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In the blink of an eye, the baseball season on the campus of Michigan State has come to an end. The Spartans wrapped up the 2021 season at home Sunday against Iowa.

With it being the final game of the season, MSU held Senior Day prior to the first pitch. Michigan State honored 11 seniors, seven from the Class of 2021, as well as a team manager, and three from the Class of 2020, that missed the opportunity to have a Senior Day during last season’s canceled season.

Joe Stewart, Sam Benschoter, Jarret Olson, Andrew Morrow, Bryce Kelley, Bailey Peterson, and Trevor Hopman were the seven seniors that represented the Class of 2021 and played their final game for Michigan State on Sunday.

All seven made an appearance in the game, including Olson, who missed the entire season with an elbow injury and got the start versus the Hawkeyes.

“It’s been a tough year for him. He was slated to be our number two coming into the year,” MSU baseball coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “He was coming off of an injury last summer and re-did his injury in the offseason and, unfortunately, wasn’t ready to go.”

Olson pitched just one inning, allowing one run on three hit batters and no hits.

“I thought it was important to give him the start. We actually talked about starting him on Saturday, and then he and Sam Benschoter got together, and wanted to do it today, and hand the ball off to each other.”

As for the rest of the game, a nine-run third inning by Iowa was the difference in the Hawkeyes 11-3 win over MSU. Stewart hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season for the Spartans.

It wasn’t the results Michigan State was hoping for on its Senior Day, but getting a chance to kiss the Spartan logo in the centerfield grass after the game, was a moment the seven seniors will never forget.

“For us to do it here, it was a lot of fun,” MSU senior outfielder and career stolen base record holder, Bryce Kelley said. “Being with some of my life-long friends, you just can’t beat that moment.”

“Just to do it with them is awesome,” MSU senior outfielder, Joe Stewart said. “Obviously to do that with your teammates, but to do that with Bryce, I’m going to be in his wedding in a couple of weeks, so to do it with some of those guys is pretty awesome.”

“A day like today is special. It’s special to thank our guys for all their hard work, but it’s also important to recognize everybody else behind them, their parents, their siblings, their girlfriends,” Boss Jr. said. “There’s a lot of people that support them.”

Michigan State finishes the season with a record of 17-27. The Spartans played every game they were scheduled to play this season, dealt with zero COVID-19 issues within the program all season, and that is certainly a win for the Spartans.

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