Spartans Top EMU at Comerica Park, 3-2
Kory Young goes 3-for-3 in the win.
DETROIT – The Michigan State baseball team held Eastern Michigan to just three hits in a 3-2 win over the Eagles on Wednesday night at Comerica Park. Freshman Riley McCauley picked up his second win at Comerica Park this season, coming out of the bullpen to hold EMU hitless over his 2.2 innings on the mound. Sophomore Kory Young went 3-for-3 and scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
“Getting the win is big,” said head coach Jake Boss Jr. “It’s a great experience for our guys to be able to play here. Nice crowd here tonight and a great atmosphere. Overall, it was a well-played ball game. I’m really happy with the effort out of our guys. We executed when we needed to, so it was a good night and a good win.”
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, it took an unconventional matter for the Spartans to retake the lead and came courtesy of Young. Young reached on a bunt single and advanced to second when pitcher Justin Thompson’s throw to first base sailed high. A wild pitch moved Young over to third and then Brandon Hughes drew a walk to give the Spartans runners at the corners.
With two outs and Dan Durkin at the plate, Hughes broke for second and got caught in a rundown. Young crept slowly down the third base line, took off and then slid in safely across home plate with first baseman John Rensel’s throw to the catcher sailing high, giving MSU a 3-2 lead.
“It was a play that we’ve worked on all year,” said Boss. “You never know when you’re going to get a chance to run it and we had an opportunity tonight and guys executed it. I think it’s a good lesson for our guys. When we execute, good things happen. Brandon did his job and Kory was patient and ran at the right time.”
Michigan State answered an unearned run by Eastern in the top of the fourth with its first two runs of the game in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Dan Chmiewlewski belted a double into the corner in left field for his second hit of the night. Zack McGuire followed with another well-hit ball to left field, depositing a 2-2 pitch from Kyle Huckaby into the stands, just inside the foul pole to make it 2-1 Spartans.
Eastern Michigan quickly evened the game in the top of the fifth on a bases-loaded single by David Lett.
Entering the game with one out and the bases loaded, McCauley prevented the Eagles from taking the lead as retired the next two hitters to get the Spartans out of the jam and keep it a 2-2 game.
“Riley is a competitor,” said Boss. “He likes to play and has been in that situation before and been successful. He’s seen and played a lot of baseball, so he’s comfortable in that spot and he came through in a huge situation at a big point in the game.”
Michigan State will visit Iowa this weekend for its final Big Ten road series of the season. Game one of series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.