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MSU Falls To IU Friday To Open Weekend Series

Posted: 11:40 PM, Apr 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-20 03:40:43Z
MSU Baseball Proctor

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State baseball fell to Indiana Friday night at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field in the opening game of a three-game series by a 13-4 final score.

MSU tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning before IU broke the game open in the fifth and sixth frames with five and three runs, respectively.

Freshman outfielder Casey Mayes was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the second inning. Mayes, a left-handed batter, blasted an opposite field shot down the left field line, into the wind, and sending the ball into the trees beyond the left field fence for a three-run round tripper. It was Mayes’ third HR of the season, tying senior infielder Marty Bechina for second on the team HR list.

Bechina and Royce Ando were both 2-for-4 Friday night, with Ando scoring a run, while junior outfielder Bryce Kelley was 2-for-5.

Senior catcher Nic Lacayo was 1-for-3, lacing a double to center in the eighth, while freshman outfielder Zaid Walker was 1-for-4.

Pauly Milto earned the win for IU, going 7.0 IP with seven strikeouts, with the Spartans scoring all four of their runs off him on eight hits.

MSU sophomore right-hander Mason Erla was dealt the loss, going 4.0 IP, while striking out five. Panaranto and junior reliever Jarret Olson each tallied three strikeouts apiece.

“It’s frustrating when the strike zone just kind of disappears. All of a sudden, we have a hard time throwing strikes. I don’t think Mason had his best stuff tonight. I thought he competed like he does, it was just one of those nights for him and we gave up the big numbers in the fifth and the sixth innings,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “It’s one thing to get knocked around a little bit but it’s another thing when you give up free base runners and those lead to big innings. Coming into tonight, Evan Flohr has been throwing extremely well lately and tonight just couldn’t find the strike zone. Panaranto walked a few guys and it’s just a good ball club over there (Indiana) and you can’t give them opportunities. You have to make them earn everything that they get.”

The Spartans and Hoosiers are scheduled to play game two of the series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m., before wrapping the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

“We’ve still got a chance to win the series, so we’ve got to keep playing hard. We need to control, and I think we need to mentally be tougher. I think we play hard, but I think there are times we let too many outside influences affect the course of an at bat, whether were on the mound or at the plate or playing defense whatever it is. We have to do a better job of taking ownership of what’s going on whether it’s holding each other accountable and that’s start with me so I need to do a better job of holding these guys accountable and helping them understand that,” Boss said.

Indiana plated a run in the top of the first on a pair of doubles, before the Hoosiers scored three runs in the top of the second on four hits, to open a 4-0 lead.

The Spartans stormed back in the home half of the second, with senior infielder leading things off with a single. Two batters later sophomore infielder Zach Iverson reached on a fielder’s choice. Mayes then smacked an opposite-field home run into the trees beyond the left field wall, for a three-run shot and pulled MSU within 4-3.

After Erla retired the Hoosiers in the top of the third, the Spartans plated a run to level the score at 4-4. Junior infielder Justin Antoncic reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up to second on a single by Bechina and to third on an Ando groundout, and scored on a wild pitch and make it a tie ballgame.
After Erla retired the Hoosiers in the top of the third, the Spartans plated a run to level the score at 4-4. Junior infielder Justin Antoncic reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up to second on a single by Bechina and to third on an Ando groundout, and scored on a wild pitch and make it a tie ballgame.
The tie lasted until the fifth when IU loaded the bases on three singles, chasing Erla and bringing in senior reliever Evan Flohr. However, Elijah Dunham drew a walk off Flohr to drive in a run, the first of five in the innings, as IU batted around, posting three hits and capitalizing on an MSU error. Freshman Colton Panaranto came on partway through the frame and rang up a strikeout to end the inning and leave the bases full of Hoosiers, but not before the visitors had a 9-4 lead.

Indiana plated three more in the sixth, on two hits, the second coming on a two-run double by Drew Ashley, for IU’s 13-4 lead, which completed the scoring.

The Spartans and Hoosiers are scheduled to play game two of the series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m., before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Any schedule updates due to weather will be announced on www.MSUSpartans.com and on twitter @statebaseball.

Fans can also follow Spartan baseball action through “Live Stats,” “Listen Live” and “Watch Live” links found at MSUSpartans.com. The games will be video streamed on BTN2Go, and will also be carried on the Spartan Sports Network live audio stream. The broadcast will be available exclusively at SpartanSportsNetwork.com and on the network’s 24/7 app for mobile devices (available on iTunes and Google Play). Broadcast veteran Scott Moore calls the action alongside former MSU manager/bullpen catcher David Greenberg in select games.

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