EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – In what already was a big game between Michigan and Michigan State was a historic series-opening game in more ways than one. This is the first time since 1994 that Michigan State is the one hosting a three-game series against the Wolverines.
The Spartans had their ace Mason Erla on the mound and while he had a solid outing, the Spartans’ fielding mistakes cost them once again. In the top of the third inning with a runner on third base, Griffin Mazur smacked a single straight up the middle and into center field bringing home Jimmy Obertop from third to make it a 1-0 game. Erla was able to get out of the inning only letting giving up two runs.
Then in the fourth inning, Michigan’s Christian Molfetta popped up into center field with Christian Bullock on first base, MSU center fielder Joe Stewart slipped and couldn’t make the routine catch which gave enough time for Christian Bullock to come all the way around the bases and slide home to make it a 3-0 game. Erla’s outing would end after just five innings, he threw 126 pitches, struck out eight Wolverines, and gave up seven hits.
Michigan’s starting pitcher, Steven Hajjar, had an outing that made it a historic night for him individually. Through six innings Hajjar struck out a career-high 13 batters and only allowed one hit which is his career low. The Wolverines’ bullpen did the rest of the work leading to a 5-1 series-opening victory.
After the loss, we asked MSU head coach Jake Boss, whether or not the lack of energy from his dugout tonight in a rivalry game was a concern of his.
“Yeah that’s never really been a concern, I don’t think the effort out of the team…has ever been a concern for us,” said Boss. “You know guys are frustrated, we’ve hit the skids a little bit here you know the only way that I know how to get out of it is just to keep working and I think our guys feel the same way and it’s frustrating when you put in the work and you don’t get the results so the only thing we can do is get back at it tomorrow.”
Game two of the series on Saturday is set to start at 3:05 p.m. our 6 Sports team will have full coverage of the game on 6 News at 11 p.m.