DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. â€“ The Michigan State baseball team rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth but fell short against Bethune-Cookman, 4-3, Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The Spartans (7-2) defeated SIU-Edwardsville earlier in the day, 12-6.
Down 4-0 after six innings, Andrew Carpenter put MSU on the board with a solo homer to left-center. The Spartans threatened to score in the eighth, but left runners on second and third as a Jeff Holm flyout ended the inning.
After a groundout started the ninth, Justin Scanlon and Carpenter delivered back-to-back singles, giving MSU life. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Jordan Keur hit an RBI single to drive home Scanlon and place Carpenter on third. On a full count, Brandon Eckerle came up with another clutch single up the middle, scoring Carpenter and moving Keur to third. Ryan Jones then battled for a walk to load the bases for Torsten Boss, but Boss grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.
MSU left a total of nine runners on base.
Keur led MSU with three hits and went 7-for-9 on the day after getting a career-high four hits in game one against SIU-Edwardsville. Carpenter, Scanlon and Eckerle each had two hits for MSU, and Eckerle extended his hitting streak to 17 games, dating back to last season.
Bethune-Cookman, who has played in the last five NCAA Tournaments, scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings to take a 4-0 lead. Ali Simpson earned the win on the mound for the Wildcats (6-6) after striking out eight batters and allowing just one run on five hits in seven innings.
Spartan starter Kurt Wunderlich fanned a season-high six but still suffered his first loss of the season (2-1). He gave up four runs, all earned, on eight hits in 6.2 innings of work.
MSU will play its fourth and final game of the Bethune-Cookman Invitational Sunday at noon against Boston College. Â