EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After being outscored 8-2 in its first two games of its three-game weekend series against Michigan, Michigan State’s offense came to life in Sunday’s series finale against the Wolverines.
The Spartans scored 10 runs on 11 hits to beat Michigan 10-2, but it was the bottom of the 5th inning that had everyone talking at McLane Stadium. MSU scored seven of its 10 runs in the inning by drawing seven free passes thanks to three bases-loaded walks, two hit-by-pitch, a fielding error at first by the Wolverines, and a wild pitch.
“You know, that happens sometimes,” said MSU baseball coach Jake Boss Jr. “It’s a funny game and we’ve been on both sides of it. You can’t seem to find the strike zone. That can be a frustrating thing when it happens to you, but you know credit to our guys a little bit too. We didn’t chase many balls out of the strike zone. Especially in that inning when they got a bit wild.”
The other highlight of the day had to do with MSU starter Sam Benschoter, or as you could call him “Steady Sam Benschoter.’ The senior tossed seven solid innings for Michigan State allowing seven hits and two runs, while striking out seven.
“Coach Van Ameyde calls the game, and I put my trust in him, and what he calls I’m going to throw,” said Benschoter. “I was just trying to attack the zone and make them beat me.”
“He’s got strikeout type of stuff,” added Boss. “Which at that point you’re always one pitch away, typically, from getting out of an inning. If you can get a strikeout then you’re a double play away from getting out of the inning. We knew he’d be able to get deep into the game. His pitch count was kind of high early and then he had a couple of quick innings which allowed him to get through seven. It was huge for us in a kind of thin, and depleted, bullpen.”
With the win over the Wolverines Michigan State snapped its six-game losing streak and next up it will be Ohio State, and then Rutgers, before coming back to East Lansing to close out the regular season with a three-game series against the Iowa Hawkeyes on May 28-30.