USF Defeats MSU, 7-5 in Series Finale

Bulls hit four home runs to power past MSU.

TAMPA, Fla. – The 25th-ranked Michigan State baseball team was defeated 7-5 by South Florida on Sunday afternoon. The Bulls took the series-deciding game by hitting four home runs that accounted for six runs to drop the Spartans to 14-3 on the year. MSU was led at the plate by Marty Bechina and Dan Durkin, who each had two hits and combined for three runs.

Trailing by two in the ninth, the Spartans put the tying runner on base with a single and walk to start the inning. USF closer Tommy Eveld got two consecutive outs before loading the bases on a walk, but got a flyout to right to end the game and earn his second save of the weekend.

MSU jumped out to an early 1-0 in the first inning, facilitated by a Bechina leadoff double. The freshman eventually advanced to third and then Chad Roskelly laid down a perfect safety squeeze to get him home for his fifth RBI of the season.

The Bulls responded with four runs in the home half of the first to gain the lead. With two runners on, USF’s Levi Borders sent a three-run shot to left-center. Chris Chatfield came up next and hit one that took a bad bounce off the centerfield wall, allowing for an inside the park home run.

The Spartans loaded the bases in the top of the second and got two runs back to cut it to 4-3. With two outs, Jordan Zimmerman sent a grounder to second that appeared to get USF out of the inning, but the ball booted into short right field, allowing Kris Simonton and Durkin to score.

USF hit solo homers in both the second and fourth inning and tacked on another with a triple to extend the lead to 7-3 in the fourth.

MSU cut into the lead with two runs on three doubles in the sixth. Bechina and Zimmerman led off the inning with back-to-back two-baggers to right center and Roskelly capped off the inning with a double down the left field line that made it 7-5.

Michigan State starts its home schedule this week on Wednesday vs. Central Michigan at 3:05 and then gets Big Ten play going with a three-game set at home vs. Rutgers next weekend.