Spartans Defeat Iowa in Series Opener, 5-1

Jordan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Michigan State baseball team defeated Iowa, 5-1, in the series opener in Iowa City on Friday night. The Spartans scored runs in four of the first five innings to open up a 5-0 lead en route to improving to 33-13 on the year and 12-7 in the Big Ten.

After a 70 minute rain delay to start the game, it didn’t take long for the Spartans to get the scoring started, as Brandon Hughes took the first pitch of the game deep for his second homer of the season.

“That was a pretty good start,” said head coach Jake Boss Jr. “Brandon was sitting on a pitch and got the barrel out. He hammed that ball and really had to and because that ball barely got out because of that wind.”

MSU tacked on two runs in the second after loading the bases with no outs. Kory Young hit a sac fly to plate Dan Chmielewski, who singled to start the inning. Jordan Zimmerman singled through the right side later in the inning to score Justin Hovis and put the Spartans up 3-0.

The Hawkeyes (22-24, 8-11) threatened with three consecutive two-out hits in the second, but starter Ethan Landon got a groundout to get out of the jam. Landon allowed just one hit the rest of the way in six innings of work, allowing no runs on four hits to improve to 7-2.

“Ethan was deep in the count he got himself out of a few big jam, but he’s a competitor and just keeps working and coming at you,” said Boss. “He got into trouble, but was able to get out of that and put us in a good position to win.”

Young scored his second run of the game in the fourth on Zimmerman’s second RBI single of the game. Matt Byars then walked to leadoff the fifth before coming around to score on a double to left by Chmielewski. Chmielewski now has multiple hits for the fourth straight games.

The Hawkeyes loaded the bases again in the seventh, but Walter Borkovich escaped the jam and stranded all three to get out of the inning unscathed. It wasn’t until the eighth that Iowa got on the board on a throwing error to make it 5-1.

Dakota Mekkes came on for the ninth and pitched a perfect inning in relief.