Michigan State baseball evens up series with Rutgers, wins 5-2

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Erin Grady

EAST LANSING – Following a 4-2 loss against Rutgers, Michigan State baseball came into Saturday looking to even up the series.

Senior southpaw Nick Powers took the bump for the Spartans, matching up against sophomore Christian Coppola for Rutgers.

The action started in the bottom half of the third, following two walks and a sacrifice bunt by Dillon Kark, senior Jack Frank unloaded on the 3-0 pitch and sent it screaming into the Red Cedar River to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.

After a tough day at the plate yesterday, Frank kept his approach the same, emphasizing, “You can get yourself in trouble if you try changing something every time something goes bad.”

Powers remained stable through the fourth inning but hit his first road bump in the fifth. Graduate utility man Johnny Volpe hit a flyball that carried over the left field wall to put Rutgers on the board, still trailing 3-1. Junior outfielder RJ. Johnson Jr. kept up the momentum for Rutgers, muscling a single to put runners in scoring position for Trevor Cohen. Cohen failed to cash in on the opportunity as Powers struck him out swinging.

The Scarlet Knights offense continued to improve in the top of the sixth. A lead-off single by Tony Santa Maria and a double from Ty Doucette put runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly to deep left-center field by Pete Durocher cut the Spartans lead to 3-2.

In the bottom half of the inning, the first two batters reached base on a single and a bunt which marked the end of Coppola’s day. Coppola walked four, struck out five, and let up three runs in five and a third innings of work.

Jake Marshall came out of the bullpen for Rutgers. Following a sacrifice bunt from junior Nick Williams, Spartan shortstop Randy Seymour drove in redshirt junior catcher Christian Williams with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Michigan State’s offense remained hot in the seventh inning, starting with a lead-off double from Sam Thompson who scored after Jack Frank laced an RBI single to extend the Spartans lead to 5-2.

Aaron Mishoulam relieved Powers, who completed seven innings, throwing 77 pitches and striking out two while allowing two runs.

“He gave us everything he had,” Coach Jake Boss Jr.

Mishoulam earned the six-out save to power Michigan State past Rutgers 5-2.

“It was a big day today, you know,” coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “We’ve had a couple of tough losses going back to last weekend…finishing the job today is very encouraging.”

Michigan State and Rutgers will face off in game three of the series tomorrow, Mar. 31, at McLane Stadium at 1:00. Nick Ferazzi will get the nod for the Spartans, facing off against Zack Konstantinovsky.

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