EVANSVILLE, Ind. â€“ The Michigan State baseball team nearly rallied from a four-run deficit, but the Spartans fell at Evansville, 6-5, Sunday afternoon at Braun Stadium in the rubber match of the three-game series.
Down 6-2 after six innings, the Spartans (12-5) scored three in the seventh to make it a one-run game. MSU almost completed the comeback by putting runners on first and third with two outs in the ninth, but a groundout ended the contest and gave Evansville the series win.
Evansville (9-7) scored runs in the first and third innings to take an early 2-0 lead.
MSU got on the board in the fourth with an RBI single off the bat of Jeff Holm.
Spartan starter David Garner was relieved in the fifth as the Purple Aces broke the game open with three runs, making it 5-1. Garner (2-2) suffered his second loss of the season after giving up seven hits and five runs, three earned, in 4.1 innings of action.
Holm hit a solo homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-2, but Evansville added another run in the bottom of the inning to keep its four-run lead at 6-2.
In MSUâ€™s three-run seventh that trimmed the lead to one run, Jared Hook hit a two-run single and Torsten Boss delivered an RBI single to right field that scored Hook.
In the ninth, Brandon Eckerle led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a groundout. Following a strikeout by Boss, Holm was intentionally walked to put runners on first and third with two outs; however, the Purple Aces escaped by ending the game with a fielderâ€™s choice at second as Justin Scanlon grounded out to second base.
Michigan State returns to action for a three-game, home-and-home series against Michigan next weekend (March 25-27). Game one of the series is set for Friday, March 25 in Ann Arbor at 5 p.m.