MSU baseball falls to Lansing Lugnuts 18-0 in 16th annual Crosstown Showdown

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Campbell Berg

LANSING – The Michigan State Spartans baseball team traveled to Lansing on Wednesday to take on the Lansing Lugnuts in the 16th annual Crosstown Showdown.

Senior right-handed pitcher Harrison Cook got the nod for the Spartans, facing off against Grant Judkins for the Oakland Athletics affiliate.

Henry Bolte, the A’s 11th-ranked prospect, kicked off the scoring early, driving in Colby Halter on a ground ball to short to give them the early 1-0 lead.

The Michigan State offense got its first hit courtesy of a Christian Williams double down the left-field line.

“It was good to get a hit. Hits are always good,” Williams said. “Obviously, [professional pitchers] going to be a little bit better, they’re pro guys. I just try to stick to my same approach.”

The Lugnuts offense picked up steam in the second inning. A double from CJ Rodriguez, followed by a three-run home run from second baseman Joshwan Wright extended the lead to 5-0.

Lansing’s offense continued to flourish in the bottom half of the fourth. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch from Junior pitcher Sam Bennet-Kennedy, right-fielder Brayan Buelvas singled, scoring Wright. The Lugnuts broke the game open after back-to-back home runs, a three-run blast from Bolte, followed by a solo shot from Will Simpson, making the game 11-0.

The Lugnuts’ biggest inning came in the fifth, following an RBI walk from Halter and back-to-back RBI singles from Danny Bautista and Bolte. Will Simpson mashed his second homer of the game for a grand slam, extending the Lugnuts’ lead to a whopping 18 runs.

Spartan freshmen Garrett Brewer and Jaxon Huffman each threw a scoreless inning in the sixth and seventh.

MSU fell to Lansing, 18-0 in seven innings.

“Always a lot of fun playing against the Lugnuts,” Michigan State coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “It’s an experience our guys are never going to forget….We’re in the business creating experiences for our guys and creating memories for our guys and this is definitely one of them.”

Boss said he talked with his team to pay attention to the Lugnuts — how they prepare, defensive positioning, and the adjustments they make — throughout the game.

“If you’re not paying attention, you missed a great opportunity,” Boss said.

“Seeing how they (Lugnuts) do things, how they warm up, how they play the game,” Williams said, reiterating Boss’s words. “Ultimately, that’s where I want to get to. Just being able to play on the same field as those guys is awesome.”

Michigan State will face off against Niagara on Friday, Apr. 5 at McLane Stadium at 6:05 P.M.

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