MICHIGAN STATE SPARTAN BASEBALL FALLS IN MIDWEEK BATTLE WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTAN BASEBALL FALLS IN MIDWEEK BATTLE WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN

The Spartans fell to CMU during their midweek battle. Here is a picture and story from the MSU SID.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Michigan State baseball was defeated in its final road game of the regular-season, falling at Central Michigan Tuesday afternoon at CMU's Keilitz Field at Theunissen Stadium.

Tuesday's battle between the Spartans and Chippewas was a 2-2 game through five innings before CMU pulled away for the final score of 10-2.

"I thought it was an unacceptable effort out of everybody, myself included, I need to do a better job of getting the best out of these guys, and certainly didn't do that today. It's very disappointing, especially after coming off a good weekend. We were hoping to build a little bit of momentum going into the last series of the year, and we weren't able to do that today. We'll have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for Illinois this weekend," MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said.

MSU had five hits Tuesday led by junior infielder Andrew Morrow going 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Senior infielder Marty Bechina was 1-for-4 with an RBI and scored a run, while fellow senior infielder Royce Andomatched him going 1-for-4. Freshman outfielder Zaid Walker was 1-for-3 and junior designated hitter Bailey Peterson was 1-for-2.

Bechina swiped his 11th and 12th stolen bases of the season and is now up to 34 for his career, tying teammate Danny Gleaves at No. 9 on MSU's career stolen base list. MSU is the only team in the country with three active players on the top 10 of the school's career stolen base list, as along with Bechina and Gleaves, junior outfielder Bryce Kelley is No. 2 with 64 stolen bases.

Michigan State jumped out early with a run in the top of the first after Bechina reached on a two-out error. Bechina then stole second before Ando drove him in with a Texas Leaguer single to left field and a 1-0 Spartan lead.

Central Michigan countered with a run in the home half of the first frame, without a hit, taking advantage of a walk to Zach Heeke, then Zavier Warren was hit by pitch. Heeke moved up to third on a fly out by Griffin Lockwood-Powell, then later scored on a balk called on MSU junior starting pitcher Jarret Olson, before Olson induced a popup to Bechina at short for the third out.

After both teams went three-up, three-down in the second and third innings, MSU threatened in the fourth with a two-out rally, started by Walker and senior catcher Nic Lacayo got hit by a pitch to put two Spartans on base, but a strikeout ended the rally. 

CMU plated a run in the home half of the fourth frame after leadoff double, then a single to put two on and two batters later a sac fly drove in a run, before a fielder's choice ended the frame for a 2-1 Chips lead.

The Spartans quickly countered in the top of the fifth as Morrow led off with a double to the wall in left center and three batters later, Bechina singled to left to drive in Morrow and level the score at 2's.

Central Michigan cracked the game open with a five-run sixth inning, batting around and taking a 7-2 lead. The Chips added three more in the seventh to open a 10-2 advantage.

MSU got several reserves some game action in the eighth and ninth innings.

The Spartans wrap up regular-season play hosting Illinois in a three-game series, opening Thursday, May 16, under the lights at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field in a 5:30 p.m. first pitch, nationally televised on Big Ten Network. The second game of the series is slated for Friday at 6:35 p.m., before Saturday's series finale at 1:05 p.m.

Friday is the make-up date for MSU's Military Appreciation Night, after the original game scheduled for April 20 was postponed due to inclement weather.

Saturday will also be MSU's Senior Day, as the Spartans will honor their five senior players: Royce Ando, Marty Bechina, Dan Chmielewski, Evan Flohr and Nic Lacayo, as well as senior managers Atticus Bohr, Eric Behan and Joseph "Rocco" Spizziri, in a pre-game ceremony.

The Spartans enter the final weekend battling for postseason play and qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. MSU will need the right combination of wins and losses from other teams around the league in order to qualify.

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