The Michigan State Spartans saw the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time in 33 years, and it was a brief look-see more than a triumphant return. MSU played a very sloppy game against Pepperdine and lost 6-2 in the regional opener, and didn't fare much better in the loser's bracket against No. 4 Fresno State. MSU came into this tournament seeded No. 3, and lost to No. 4 by a score of 8-2.
Like game one, MSU just couldn't get anything done offensively. They only managed seven hits and two runs altogether, despite decent at-bats throughout. They picked up their two runs off of Thomas Harlan over four-plus innings, but were shutdown by Gene Escat and Taylor Garrison over the remainder of the game, picking up four hits but nothing else.
Escat picked up the win for Fresno State, while Andrew Waszak was handed the loss for the Spartans. He pitches seven innings and gave up eight hits and four runs, striking out four and walking three. Designated hitter Blaise Salter knocked in both runs for the Spartans, but it wasn't enough. They're now eliminated from the tournament.
After playing a sloppy game in the opener of the Stanford Regional in their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 33 years, the Michigan State Spartans need a win on Saturday afternoon against Fresno State to keep their postseason alive.
No. 3 Michigan State lost the opener to No. 2 Pepperdine on Friday, 6-2. Pepperdine scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after Michigan State had gained some momentum by cutting the Pepperdine lead in half, 2-1, completely deflating the Spartans.
The loss dropped the Spartans to the loser's bracket where they will play Fresno State on Saturday to try and save their season. Fresno State is coming off a 9-1 loss to Stanford and potential No. 1 overall MLB draft pick Mark Appel.
GAME TIME: 4 p.m. ET
WHERE: Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, Stanford, Calif.
Knowing that a defeat would put them in a dangerous must-win situation, the Michigan State Spartans still couldn't find a way to get runners across the plate in a 6-2 loss to Pepperdine in Friday's Regional opener.
The Spartans mustered 10 hits as a team, but could not put together a big inning against Pepperdine starter Jon Moscot. Moscot, who was the unquestioned star of the contest, went all nine innings with four strikeouts to pick up the win. The 6-foot-4 junior was especially sharp when it counted, and gave up only two extra-base hits, a pair of doubles, to Michigan State hitters. Impact freshmen Ryan Krill and Jimmy Pickens each led the way for the Spartans with a pair of 2-for-4 performances from the dish, even though both players were unable to score a run.
With little time left to pick up the pieces after this loss, the Spartans will now play in Saturday's 4:00 pm EST elimination game against the loser of No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 4 Fresno State.
The Michigan State Spartans will begin play in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament when they take on the Pepperdine Waves in the first round of regional play on Friday afternoon. The game will be the first time in 33 years that the Spartans have participated in an NCAA Tournament game and the club will look to celebrate the appearance accordingly.
Pepperdine will be no easy matchup for MSU, as the Waves are coming off a West Coast Conference championship and a 34-21 overall record this season. The Spartans have played Pepperdine only one other time in it's history, which coincidentally came in the opening round of the school's last appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1979. Unfortunately, that game did not go well for the Spartans as the team fell to the Waves 15-0 and were the first of three victories that led to a College Word Series berth for Pepperdine.
The projected starters for Friday are Tony Bucciferro (6-3, 2.80 ERA) for Michigan State and Jon Moscot (6-5, 2.97 ERA) for Pepperdine. The game will start at 4 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN 3.com.
Now that the Michigan State Spartans have been given an invitation to the 2012 NCAA baseball tournament, the team will focus its attention to the competition they will face in the Palo Alto Regional of the field of 64. The No. 3-seeded Spartans will open up play in the four-team regional on Friday, June 1, when the team challenges No. 2-seeded Pepperdine at 4 p.m. ET. Later that day, No. 1 Stanford will play No. 4 Fresno State at 9 p.m. ET.
On Saturday, the losers will play each other in an elimination game at 4 p.m. ET, while the winners will play later that night at 9 p.m. ET. On Sunday, the loser of the winner's bracket will play the winner of the loser's bracket in a single-elimination game at 4 p.m. ET to determine who will advance to the regional championship game later that night at 9 p.m. ET. If the team that advances to the championship game from the loser's bracket wins the game on Sunday night, then the Palo Alto regional championship will be determined on Monday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET.
You can go here for a look at the full NCAA baseball tournament bracket. All games will be televised on ESPN 3.com.