DETROIT — Despite Central Michigan University baseball’s outstanding all-time series against Michigan State University in 2014, the Spartans have been actively trying to take the spotlight away from the Chippewas by focusing on the fundamentals.
Since 2009, CMU and MSU have played a three-game home-home-neutral series each year. Continuing a tradition of besting MSU in previous series, the Chippewas went into the 2014 season with a 2-10 record against the Spartans.
The 2014 seasons proved to be a highlight for CMU as it swept the team for the first year ever.
“We felt we had a nice ball club this season that can do some things,” said CMU head coach Steve Jaksa. “We’ve been really good in this series this year.”
Redshirt catcher Tyler Huntey played in all four ‘Clash at Comerica’ games this season. Huntey said winning the game and sweeping Michigan State proves the Chippewas can compete against the larger baseball programs in the state.
“A lot of people look at us as less of a team than State,” he said. “Winning this series shows we can play at the same level as them.”
Spartans slip up on defense
The Spartans committed 14 errors in those three games while 17 of the 24 runs the Spartans gave up were unearned.
“We made eight errors in game one and (four) errors in game two,” said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. “(Tuesday) we had opportunities, but we folded. It’s disappointing, but one game doesn’t have anything to do with the next.
“It’s one game at a time always.”
Aside from the Chippewas first series win against their interstate rival since 2009, Tuesday’s game was CMU’s first win at Comerica Park.
CMU baseball won the first neutral site game between their rival MSU at Dow Diamond – home of the Great Lake Loons in Midland – but had not won a game against the Spartans on a neutral field since.
“I hope the second (win at Comerica Park) comes quicker than the first one did,” Jaksa said. “We’ve played some really good games (at Comerica Park), but at the end of the day it was still a loss. (Tuesday) we broke through and got a win.”