PHOENIX -- Michigan State baseball was defeated by No. 24 Arizona State on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in the series finale, 13-2.
The Sun Devils improved to 11-0 on the season, entering the weekend as one of 12 unbeaten teams in the country and are now one of eight teams in the nation without a loss, after sweeping the weekend series. This weekend was the first-ever meetings on the diamond between MSU and ASU in program history.
Arizona State jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning Sunday and stretched the lead to 8-1 with four complete. The Sun Devils broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning before the Spartans scored a run in the ninth.
“It was a tough day today. We didn’t play very well, we didn’t pitch very well, we didn’t defend very well, and against a really, really good ball club like Arizona State, that’s what happens,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do; we need to get better. We’ll have a good day of practice tomorrow and get ready for Arizona on Tuesday.”
Junior outfielder Bryce Kelley was 2-for-4 at the plate, adding a stolen base, which was his second of the season and 48th of his career, closing in on former teammate Brandon Hughes’ 50 stolen bases for the No. 4 spot on the MSU career stolen base list.
Junior outfielder Danny Gleaves, senior outfielder Dan Chmielewski, sophomore infielder Joe Stewart, senior infielder Royce Ando and senior catcher Nic Lacayo all had a hit apiece. Chmielewski and freshman catcher Scott Combs each posted an RBI, while junior infielder Bailey Peterson and sophomore infielder Zach Iverson scored MSU’s two runs, with Iverson reaching on a walk, while Peterson got on after a fielder’s choice.
Chmielewski drove in Iverson in the third inning, while Peterson scored MSU’s ninth inning run on an RBI fielder’s choice by Combs.
The Sun Devils scored early with leadoff batter Trevor Hauver belting the first of his two home runs to right field on the day to lead off the game, and two batters later Hunter Bishop hit another solo shot. ASU added two more runs, one on a sac fly and another on a bloop double to shallow left center, and the home team lead 4-0 after the first frame.
Arizona State added two more runs in the bottom of the second, chasing MSU starting pitcher Indigo Diaz, opening a 6-0 lead.
The Spartans got on the board in the third with Iverson drawing a one-out walk and Gleaves followed with a single to center. Two batters later, Chmielewski mirrored Gleaves with a single to center, plating Iverson, before the rally later ended with a strikeout.
ASU plated one run in the bottom of the third, before senior reliever Evan Flohr got out of a bases-loaded jam with a pop up to junior Justin Antoncic at first. The home team added a run in the fourth on a solo home run by Carter Aldrete, before plating five runs in the seventh, with Hauver leading off the inning with his second round-tripper of the day, and batting around with five runs on four hits, leaving the bases loaded as sophomore reliever Sam Benschoter came on and induced a fly out to the first batter he faced to end the inning.
Stewart led off the Spartan ninth with a line drive single to left, but was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Peterson. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Peterson was moved up to third on a Kelley single and scored on a fielder’s choice from Combs for the final scoring.
Michigan State continues its Spring Break trip in the desert by heading to Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday, March 5 to take on Arizona in a single-game at 8 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. MT.
Fans can follow the action live with links at MSUSpartans.com, along with on twitter @statebaseball.
Any schedule updates due to weather will be announced on www.MSUSpartans.com and on twitter @statebaseball.