Red Hot Michigan State Baseball Opens Season 4-0!
Hondo S. Carpenter
The Michigan State Spartans have started the 2020 season on fire. Undefeated and roaring the Spartans are tearing up the ballparks in South Carolina.
Here is the complete recap from super MSU SID Zach Fisher:
Michigan State Completes Weekend Sweep Over Morehead State With 10-4 Win Sunday
Spartans post-second four-game sweep to open the season in four years, joining 2017.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Michigan State got another standout pitching effort and some timely hitting to beat Morehead State, 10-4, Sunday afternoon at Shipyard Park in Charleston, S.C. The Spartans completed the four-game sweep, giving them their second four-game sweep to open the season in the last four years.
This weekend was the inaugural meetings between the two MSUs, after the Spartans won Friday’s series and season-opener, 15-3, then captured Saturday’s twinbill, 5-2 and 5-3, before completing the sweep with Sunday’s victory. The four-game sweep to open the season joins the 2017 season, which opened with four wins at Abilene Christian.
“I’m very proud of our guys, it was a very, very good weekend. It’s tough to be the same team four times in a weekend, and we played really well today in order to do that,” Spartan baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr. said.
Michigan State senior pitcher Caleb Sleeman fired a career-high seven strikeouts in 6.0 IP, yielding just one hit and only three walks. Sleeman had a no-hitter going through 4.0 complete frames, before a lead-off double to open the fifth, snapping a streak of retiring nine-straight Eagle batters. Michigan State built a 10-0 lead, allowing the Spartans to send out three-straight relievers to make their Michigan State debuts, redshirt-freshman William Christophersen and Brian Martin, along with junior Wyatt Rush.
“I thought Caleb Sleeman was very good in six innings with career-high strikeouts and only allowing one hit,” Boss said. “I thought William Christophersen threw well in his two innings of relief in his debut.”
At the plate, the Spartan offense scored at least one run in six of the eight innings, logging 14 hits, led by senior infielder Bailey Peterson who was 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run, rapping a two-run triple. Freshman outfielder Jack Frank was 1-for-4 with not only his first collegiate home run but the first round-tripper of the season for the Spartans.
Sophomore infielder Peter Ahn, senior outfielder Bryce Kelley, and redshirt-freshman catcher Gabe Sotres all tallied two hits.
“We swung the bat well again today with 14 hits, including three from Bailey Peterson, and then Peter Ahn, Bryce Kelley, and Gabe Sotres all had a couple hits each,” Boss said. “We just kept coming at them and scored in all but two of the innings, and was just kind of a steady offensive attack. I thought we were very productive again today. All-in-all, it was a very good day to cap off a very, very good weekend.”
Michigan State got on the board right away in the opening inning, as Kelley and Peterson pulled off a double steal of third and second, respectively, and Kelley scored on an Eagle throwing error for the first run of the day.
The Spartans got on the board again in the bottom of the third stanza with Frank’s two-run blast over the fence in right field and into the Morehead State bullpen for a 3-0 advantage.
Michigan State added a run in the fourth after a leadoff Sotres single started the rally and he later scored on a Morehead State error. The Spartans plated a run in the fifth, taking advantage of an Eagle balk and two wild pitches, to open a 5-0 lead.
In the seventh, Peterson led off with an infield single and later scored on an RBI single by senior designated hitter Justin Antoncic. Next up was senior pinch-hitter Andrew Morrow, who plated Antoncic with a triple to the right-center gap to make the scoreboard read 7-0.
The Spartans got their eighth-inning scoring rally going with a single by Ahn, followed by a single by freshman pinch-hitter/outfielder Zach Hopman. Peterson drove them both in by lacing a triple down the right-field line and into the corner.
Morehead State broke the Michigan State shutout and chased the skunk from the stadium with a four-run fourth inning, loading the bases on a pair of free passes and an error, then a three-run triple from pinch-hitter Bryce Simon cleared the bases for the Eagles’ first runs of the afternoon. Rush came on and slammed the door on the rest of a comeback attempt, getting a groundout and fly out to end the game, sparking the Spartans’ sweep celebrations.
Michigan State returns to South Carolina next weekend, heading to Greenville to play Merrimack in a four-game series, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 21-23, at Fluor Field. The inaugural meeting between the Spartans and Warriors gets underway Friday at 4 p.m. ET, before a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 and 4 p.m. The series wraps up on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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