Powers And Opportune Hits Propel MSU Past Penn State Saturday - Michigan State University Athletics (2024)

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Behind Nick Powers' pitching and an offensive output, Michigan State baseball powered past Penn State, 11-5, Saturday afternoon at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field.

The win helped the Spartans clinch the series win over the Nittany Lions, MSU's first series win over PSU since 2016. After Friday night's 6-5 Victory for MSU snapped a seven-game losing skein to PSU, MSU has now won two in a row over PSU to extend its series lead to 56-44, with a 25-17 mark in East Lansing.

Overall, MSU won its third in a row to move to 17-19 on the season and a 5-6 B1G record. PSU slid to 18-17 overall and 5-9 in B1G play.

Senior southpaw Powers went 7.0 innings, ringing up five strikeouts in scattering six hits while allowing just two runs.The win was Powers' sixth of the season and 19th of his career, moving up to tie for No. 9 on MSU's career wins list, matching Tim Day (2002-05) and Andrew Waszak (2010-13).

"Nick was really good today, outside of walking the first guy and hitting the second guy," MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said "He went into damage control early and just gave up the one run (in the first inning), which was a big play in the game. It kept momentum kind of within us and he really settled into it. I think he threw really, really well."

After yielding a run in the first, Powers found his stride and leveled his control, retiring nine Nittany Lions in a row from the third to the sixth stanzas.

Meanwhile the Spartan bats came to life in the third inning and erupted for 16 hits in the game, posting 11 runs for their most in a Big Ten game this season and the most in a conference contest since plating 14 in a 14-2 Victory for MSU at Michigan last season on April 23, 2023.

As part of MSU Heroes Weekend, U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Andrew Busch, brother of Spartan junior infielder Sam Busch, threw out Saturday's ceremonial first pitch.

"That was pretty neat," Busch said. "I didn't really know until last week that he was going to do it, and I thought it was pretty cool. I went out there and I kind of got a little choked up when I got out there. But it was pretty cool, a really neat moment."

Extremely honored to have @USMC Marine Staff Sergeant Andrew Busch, brother of Spartan junior infielder Sam Busch, throw out today's ceremonial first pitch during Heroes Weekend!!
#GoGreen | #HeroesWeekend 🇺🇸 | @Samwbusch pic.twitter.com/7cB025rVeX

— Michigan State Baseball (@MSUBaseball) April 20, 2024

Of MSU's 11 runs scored on the day, five of them came with two outs, as the Spartan offense was clicking.

"I'd like to get them all with no outs, I guess," Boss said with a chuckle. "But we talked before the game just about a consistent offensive approach and I think we did it again today for the second day in a row. We didn't chase many balls, I thought we stayed alive in at bats, we were able to just string a bunch of hits together a couple different times in those innings and use that momentum moving forward."


High fives and handshakes all around!!

Final score from McLane Stadium at Kobs Field:
Michigan State 11, Penn State 5

MSU wins the @B1Gbaseball series and goes for the sweep Sunday at 1:05 pm!!#VictoryForMSU pic.twitter.com/irlB0zOAY8

— Michigan State Baseball (@MSUBaseball) April 20, 2024

MSU knocked 16 hits, and all nine Spartans in the line-up had at least one hit, with six tallying multiple hits, led by senior infielder Dillon Kark going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, including his team-leading 14th double of the season.

Graduate catcher Sam Thompson and sophom*ore infielder Randy Seymour were both 2-for-3, with Thompson scoring three times, while Seymour touched home twice and drove in one. Junior outfielder Nick Williams was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Busch and senior outfielder Greg Ziegler were both 2-for-5, with Zeigler notching two RBI, while Busch had a ribbie and a run scored. Senior outfielder Jack Frank was 1-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, freshman infielder Ryan McKay was 1-for-4, and junior designated hitter Christian Williams was 1-for-5 with a run scored.

Ziegler added two stolen bases, and the Spartans had a sacrifice bunt and a sac fly, along with several hit and runs throughout the day.

"I thought we did a nice job on the bases and really putting pressure on those guys," Boss said. "We executed again for the second day in a row. The running game was big, the bunting game was big for us. I'm really proud of the effort that our guys did offensively today."

The Spartans' offensive output was backed by a solid outing by Powers, righting the ship after a rough outing last weekend at Purdue.

"Last week was kind of a down week for me, it's uncharacteristic," Powers said. "I just got to work this week and just got back up onto the mound with all the confidence in the world that I usually have. When you do that, a lot of good things happen and that's what happened today."

After the shaky first frame, Powers got in a groove and rhythm from there on out.

"Yeah, I think so," Powers said about finding his rhythm after the first inning. "I'm usually a guy who likes to work quick and I don't usually take a lot of time between pitches. I get the ball back and I'm on the rubber immediately, and I feel like that plays into it. Hitters, they don't have a lot of time to get ready in between pitches, so I feel like that plays a factor into the success that I have."

Mid 4th |

Nick Powers chalks up back-to-back KLs, the second one to end the inning. Powers now up to 3 Ks in 4.0 IP.

Sam Busch to lead off B4th.#GoGreen | @Nick_Powers22 pic.twitter.com/2gdxQCjMk9

— Michigan State Baseball (@MSUBaseball) April 20, 2024

Meanwhile, Busch and the offense also settled in and had success after a quiet first two frames without a hit, but then once the bats got going, they got going in a big way.

"It started in BP; we had good energy and we really had to fine tune our approach the past two days and it showed," Busch said. "We put together a lot of good at bats and got the base runner moving, a couple hit and runs and stuff. We just kind of started rolling."

Penn State scored in its opening at bat of the game, with a run in the top of the first.

After going hitless through the first two frames, the Spartan offense got the bats going in the third, breaking through with three runs on three hits, capitalizing on two PSU errors.

Thompson ignited the rally with a walk and moved to second on a sac bunt by Seymour. Two batters later Kark reached on an infield single to advance Thompson to third. N.Williams reached on a PSU error to plate Thompson, and McKay followed with a single through the left side to drive in Kark. Ziegler then knocked an infield single to score N.Williams for a 3-1 Spartan advantage.

After Penn State got a run back in the top of the sixth on a solo HR with two outs, the Spartans countered by erupting for a five-run sixth inning, their most runs in an inning in a Big Ten game and their 11th big inning of four or more runs this season.

C.Williams sparked the outburst with a double off the wall in left, and Busch followed by smacking a double just inside the first base bag and into the right field corner to drive in C.Williams. After Thompson reached on an infield single, Seymour knocked an RBI infield single to score Busch, and after a PSU pitching change, Frank had a sac fly to drive in Thompson. A Kark single preceded an RBI single to right center by N.Williams to plate Seymour. Ziegler later followed with a single to right to score Kark for the fifth run of the stanza and an 8-2 lead for the home field Spartans.

B6th |
Sam Busch laces an RBI double just inside the bag at 1st and down the RF line and up the hill in the corner and Christian Williams scampers home for the run!!

MSU 4#GoGreen | @Samwbusch | @christianaw34 pic.twitter.com/F7oFtjNN5R

— Michigan State Baseball (@MSUBaseball) April 20, 2024

After singing and stretching in the middle of the seventh, the Green & White scored three more, with Frank cracking a two-run double into the right field corner, and N.Williams knocking a double to right center.

B7th |
Jack Frank was hitless today and was the only Spartan without a hit... until NOW!!

Frank's 2-run double into the RF corner drives in Thompson from 3rd and Seymour scampers around from 1st!!

MSU 10#GoGreen | @JackF_22 | @sam_thompson34 | @RandySeymour14 pic.twitter.com/LhRubl9pwd

— Michigan State Baseball (@MSUBaseball) April 20, 2024

PSU scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth to close to 11-5.

Freshmen relievers Gannon Grundman and Logan Pikur threw an inning apiece to secure the Victory for MSU.

The Spartans and Nittany Lions conclude their three-game weekend series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Fans can follow this weekend's action with "Tickets," "Watch Live," "Listen Live" and "Live Stats" links at MSUSpartans.com.

Michigan State's schedule is subject to change, stay tuned to MSUSpartans.com and @MSUBaseball on Twitter for schedule updates.

For the first time ever, Michigan State baseball fans have the ability to purchase season tickets.

Season tickets packages are on sale through the Spartan Ticket Office. The MSU baseball season ticket package, which includes 24 home games at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field, is available for $50.

All ticket levels for seniors, adults and children are the same price. Admission remains free for all Michigan State students by showing their MSU ID at the entry gate.

The 2024 Spartan baseball season includes Big Ten match-ups against Rutgers, Penn State and Nebraska, along with regional clashes with Central Michigan, Oakland and Notre Dame, in addition to giving fans admission to all three home games of baseball Rivalry Week against Michigan.

Individual game tickets are also on sale through the Spartan Ticket Office.

Fans can contact the Spartan Ticket Office at 517-355-1610 or by email at tickets@msu.edu for questions or more information. A direct link to purchase season tickets is here.

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Powers And Opportune Hits Propel MSU Past Penn State Saturday - Michigan State University Athletics (2024)
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