Ninth-Inning Rally Comes Up Short as Spartans Fall to Bethune-Cookman, 4-3

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Spartans score two in the top of the ninth but leave the bases loaded in loss.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartans score two in the top of the ninth but leave the bases loaded in loss. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Michigan State baseball team rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth but fell short against Bethune-Cookman, 4-3, Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The Spartans (7-2) defeated SIU-Edwardsville earlier in the day, 12-6.

Down 4-0 after six innings, Andrew Carpenter put MSU on the board with a solo homer to left-center. The Spartans threatened to score in the eighth, but left runners on second and third as a Jeff Holm flyout ended the inning.

After a groundout started the ninth, Justin Scanlon and Carpenter delivered back-to-back singles, giving MSU life. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Jordan Keur hit an RBI single to drive home Scanlon and place Carpenter on third. On a full count, Brandon Eckerle came up with another clutch single up the middle, scoring Carpenter and moving Keur to third. Ryan Jones then battled for a walk to load the bases for Torsten Boss, but Boss grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.

MSU left a total of nine runners on base.

Keur led MSU with three hits and went 7-for-9 on the day after getting a career-high four hits in game one against SIU-Edwardsville. Carpenter, Scanlon and Eckerle each had two hits for MSU, and Eckerle extended his hitting streak to 17 games, dating back to last season.

Bethune-Cookman, who has played in the last five NCAA Tournaments, scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings to take a 4-0 lead. Ali Simpson earned the win on the mound for the Wildcats (6-6) after striking out eight batters and allowing just one run on five hits in seven innings.

Spartan starter Kurt Wunderlich fanned a season-high six but still suffered his first loss of the season (2-1). He gave up four runs, all earned, on eight hits in 6.2 innings of work.

MSU will play its fourth and final game of the Bethune-Cookman Invitational Sunday at noon against Boston College.