Central falls to Michigan State 3-1 in Clash at Comerica

Central Michigan fell to Michigan State 3-1 in a pitcher's duel at Comerica Park on April 20.

In a game that players referred to as a surreal experience, it was over quicker than any other Central Michigan baseball game in program history.

One-hour-and-fifty-three minutes later on April 20, Michigan State (23-10) put away Central Michigan (18-19) 3-1 in a pitching duel with 2,169 people in attendance, on a brisk and windy April night.

“I walked out on the field and kinda started shaking, it was crazy,” Central catcher William Arnold said.

Bryce Morrow turned in a quality start; however the defense for Central was not at the top of their game early on giving up three errors, including two errors in the first inning that led to two unearned runs.

“Of course you look back and say those errors cost us the game,” Central coach Steve Jaska said. “But then they happen, you just gotta keep moving forward and playing.”

Both teams were shutout out in the last eight innings as it turned into a defensive and pitching battle after a somewhat shaky start for both teams.

“I settled in a little bit, it wasn’t really nerves as it wore off throughout the game,” Morrow said. “I figured it out.”

Morrow entered Wednesday’s game with an 0-3 record and a 6.11 ERA but he said his confidence was never shaken.

“It’s always good to go out and have a good outing,” Morrow said.”But I’ve never lost my confidence and this can only help.”

Michigan State pitcher Andrew Waszak also put in a quality start as he went seven strong innings, striking out six and only allowing one earned run.

“Andrew threw very well for us today,” Michigan State coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “If you throw strikes early in the count and can control your pitches you’re going to be able to control the game.”

Waszak had entered the game with an 2-2 record and an 3.33 ERA. He credited his fastball and location for his success Wednesday.

“My game was based off of my fastball,” Waszak said. “I was able to get ahead in the count all night and put myself in early control against a very talented team.”

Waszak, a Detroit-area native (Rochester Hills) couldn’t help but reflect on the experience.

“I’ve been to games here before but I’m used to looking down at the players instead of looking (out at) the stands, very surreal moment,” Waszak said.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead Michigan State controlled the game throughout and never relinquished their lead. After both teams giving up early runs, the defense and pitching took control of the game.

“I think you saw a heck of a ballgame tonight between two very good teams,” Coach Jaska said. “Both teams wanted to be put on this stage as we feel very strongly about baseball here in Michigan and in the Midwest. We want to keep encouraging kids to stay in the state to play baseball.”

Both teams try to prove to the rest of the nation that the Midwest can play just as well as the southern teams and this will only help their case. Michigan State and Central each came out and maintained an impressive level of composure on a big time stage.