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MSU Nipped By Purdue In Pitcher’s Duel Friday Night

Posted: 2:19 PM, May 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-04 18:19:18Z
Baseball

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Michigan State baseball was nipped by Purdue, 2-0, in a pitcher’s duel Friday night at Purdue’s Alexander Field.

The two teams’ offense were stymied by the pitching, as the bats combined for just seven hits, four by the home team Boilermakers and three by the Spartans. MSU was led by senior outfielder Dan Chmielewksi with two hits, while freshman outfielder Casey Mayes had the other.

“That’s the way the game goes sometimes. Credit their guys, they threw well tonight. We got a couple guys to second base tonight, but that’s about all we could muster,” MSU head coach Jake Boss said.

Spartan sophomore starting pitcher Mason Erla went 7.0 IP, allowing just three hits, with two runs, walking three and striking out five. The five strikeouts is Erla’s fifth-straight outing with five or more strikeouts and the eighth of the season.

“I thought Mason Erla threw really well tonight. Even the home run wasn’t a bad pitch, but it’s a funny game. We’ll be back and ready to go tomorrow,” Boss said.

Erla was cruising through the first three innings, needing just eight pitches to retire the Boilermakers in order in the first and six pitches in the second. He worked around a one-out single in the third with sophomore catcher Adam Proctor throwing out the runner to keep Erla at facing the minimum batters through three frames.

Purdue broke through in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run home run by Zac Fascia after a walk, for the Boilermakers’ only runs of the night.

Senior reliever Evan Flohr relieved Erla in the eighth, making his team-leading 24th appearance of the season.

Purdue starter Trent Johnson went 6.1 IP, allowing all three of MSU’s hits, while tallying five Ks, before giving way to Matt Moore, who pitched 2.0 IP with three strikeouts, getting the win. Bo Hofstra got the final two outs to earn the save.

Chmielewski singled and stole second in the first inning. The swipe gives Chmielewski 26 swipes for his career, needing five more to reach the No. 11 spot on MSU’s career stolen base list.

In the home half of the third, Purdue’s Tyler Powers laced a one-out bouncing single up the middle, with the ball bouncing off the base and away from senior infielder Royce Ando at second. Powers tried to steal second, but Proctor fired a frozen rope to senior infielder Marty Bechina at second to nab Powers in plenty of time.

Proctor has now thrown out 12 attempted base stealers out of 26 attempts, good for 46 percent. Proctor entered the weekend ranked fourth in the Big Ten in steal attempts thrown out.

Mayes belted a two-out double to left center in the fourth, but the rally fizzled. Chmielewski smacked a single in the sixth, but he was later erased attempting to steal second.

Purdue took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh on a one-out two-run home run by Zac Fascia to right field, winning the battle with Erla that went to a full count and featured several foul balls.

Flohr came on in the eighth, and yielded a one-out double to Ryan Howe, before Skyler Hunter followed with a lineout to Kelley in left field, who snared the line drive and fired back to Ando at second to double up Howe with the unconventional 7-4 double play and end the frame.

However, MSU was unable to generate a rally in the ninth to end the game.

Michigan State and Purdue continue the three-game weekend series Saturday night at 6 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Spartans have a five-game week next week, playing at Michigan on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m. in a non-conference contest, before hosting Valparaiso on Wednesday, May 8 at 5:05 p.m. at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.

Michigan State does not have any midweek games this upcoming week due to finals on campus at MSU. The Spartans resume action by heading to West Lafayette, Ind., for a three-game Big Ten weekend series at Purdue, Friday-Sunday, May 3-4. Friday’s series opener is slated for 6 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. first pitches on Saturday and Sunday.

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

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