After the Penn State Nittany Lions tied the series with a shutout yesterday, the Spartans were able to create a late-game comeback to take the game and the series. Trailing Penn State 1-0 in the ninth, the Spartans scored two to take the lead and finish the last game and series of the season on a high note.
Mick VanVossen started on the mound for the Spartans and pitched a quality eight innings. He gave up the only Penn State run in the bottom of the sixth, as well as four hits and two walks. VanVossen struck out five batters as well.
In the top of the ninth inning, still trailing by one run, Ryan Richardson was walked then advanced to second on a passed ball. Jimmy Pickens hit the ball to deep right field and reached third base, allowing Richardson to score for the tie. Pickens then reached home to give the Spartans the lead when Anthony Cheky hit into a fielder’s choice and earning the game-winning RBI.
In the bottom of the ninth, Michigan State head Coach Jake Boss tapped Justin Alleman, the freshman reliever to take the mound, replacing VanVossen. Alleman, in spectacular fashion, struck out all three Penn State batters swinging in the bottom of the ninth, earning his seventh save of the season.
Michigan State finishes the season with an overall record of 33-17, 12-9 in conference play, finishing in seventh place in the Big Ten. This is the fourth consecutive year the Spartans have recorded 30 wins or more in a season. The 2013 class of Trevor Cousineau, Cody Huge, Jordan Keur, Trey Popp, Andrew Waszak and Joe Zwierzynski have earned 140 wins in their career as Spartans.
Michigan State was unable to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament as only the top six teams in the conference are allowed to compete. The Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines won their final regular season series to clinch the final two spots in the standings.
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