Spartan Baseball Defeats Notre Dame on Opening Day, 2-1

Michigan State

 

Kurt Wunderlich tosses seven innings to get the win; Torsten Boss goes 3-for-4 at the plate.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.
Kurt Wunderlich tosses seven innings to get the win; Torsten Boss goes 3-for-4 at the plate. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

DUNEDIN, Fla. – The Michigan State baseball team won on Opening Day for the fourth straight year as the Spartans edged Notre Dame, 2-1, Friday afternoon in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Kurt Wunderlich struck out four and gave up just one run in seven innings to earn the win, while Torsten Boss went 3-for-4 with an RBI at the plate.

 

“We’re obviously real pleased with the win and we saw a lot of positive performances,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss, who is now 3-0 on Opening Day at Michigan State. “We had a couple of timely hits, played well defensively, and pitched very well. At the same time we did some things we need to fix and improve on. All in all, especially on Opening Day, we’re happy with the win.”

 

MSU got on the board in the third as Boss hit a one-out triple to right center. Second baseman Ryan Jones then singled Boss in on a 0-2 count to give MSU the 1-0 lead.

Notre Dame got even in the bottom of the fourth when Frank DeSico’s RBI single drove in Adam Norton.

 

The Spartans responded in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Jordan Keur double down the left-field line with one out, then advanced to third on a Brandon Eckerle single. Boss collected the game-winning RBI on a ground out to shortstop that brought home Keur. The sophomore third baseman from Lowell, Mich., finished 3-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI and a run scored.

 

“I thought Torsten Boss was the best player on the field today,” remarked Boss. “Ryan Jones also had a big RBI in a key situation.”

 

Wunderlich and reliever Trey Popp did the rest for Michigan State.

 

Wunderlich was efficient, throwing just 88 pitches in his seven innings, while Popp tossed two scoreless innings for his first save at MSU.

 

Popp gave up a one-out single to DeSico in the bottom of the ninth, then balked him over to second, but got out of the jam as Alex Robinson lined into a double play to center field with DeSico running on the pitch.

 

“Kurt Wunderlich was outstanding, and Trey Popp did a great job in relief as well,” Boss said. “Kurt was prepared to go 90 pitches and kept his pitch count down, so that kept him in the game.”

 

Notre Dame’s Brian Dupra, who was drafted in the 11th round by Detroit Tigers in the 2010 MLB Draft, took the loss. He struck out five and gave up seven hits in 7.0 innings of work.

 

“Dupra was very, very good,” said Boss. “I was proud of the way our guys competed. It was a well-pitched game all around, no question.”

 

Michigan State returns to action Saturday at 10 a.m. to face Seton Hall in St. Petersburg, Fla., at Al Lang Field.

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