EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State left-hander Gary Zsigo, making his collegiate debut, hurled six scoreless innings in game two of a twin bill with Lamar, as the Spartans racked up their first victory of the season during a doubleheader split against the Cardinals in Beaumont, Tex.
Zsigo's performance helped the Spartans (1-2) rebound from a heart-breaking loss in game one, as the Cardinals (6-3) pushed across a run in the bottom half of the seventh inning to give them a 2-1 victory. Another pitchers duel developed in game two, but Lamar could not solve the lefty Zsigo, who scattered three singles over six innings, as Michigan State came away with a 4-0 victory.
Lamar took a 1-0 advantage in the first inning of game one, however MSU senior Brian Murphy settled down to keep the Cardinals scoreless over the next four frames. The Spartans knotted the score in the fourth, as first baseman Mark Mulder knocked in Tom Grigg. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh, as pinch-runner Justin Wise scored the game-winning run off MSU right-hander Casey Reader (0-1), who came on in the sixth to relieve Murphy. Brian Sanches (2-0) went the distance for Lamar, as he struck out five over seven innings.
The loss spoiled an excellent outing by Murphy, who allowed just a single run over five innings of five-hit ball. It marked the second game in a row that the MSU bullpen surrendered the go-ahead run in Lamars final at bat.
Michigan State struck first in game two of the twin bill, as they picked up a single run in the first. The strength of Zsigos arm kept the Spartans ahead 1-0 until the top of the seventh, when MSU blew the game open with three unearned runs. Freshman Scott Brandell came on to finish off Lamar in seventh, pitching a scoreless inning and striking out two in his collegiate debut.
The sophomore Zsigo (1-0), a native of Lennon, Mich., finished the game with nine strikeouts over the six innings of work, as he allowed only six runners to reach base. Lamar right-hander Kevin Zaug took the loss, falling to 0-1.
Overshadowed in the doubleheader was the play of MSU second baseman Ted Demetral, who went two-for-three in both games, as he boosted his team-leading batting average to .500 (5-10). CF Mike Wagner (4-11) and P/1B Mulder (3-10) are the only other Spartans to record a hit in each of the first three contests.
The Spartans will look to even their record on Sunday, as they take on the Cardinals in the final contest of the four-game set. Southpaw Kimya Massey will start on the mound for MSU, with game time is slated for 1 p.m. EST.
NOTES: The Michigan State pitching staff has recorded 25 punch outs over their first 21.1 innings of workThe sophomore Demetral has only been struck out once in non-conference play in his career, a span now covering 98 at-bats. The Spartans were perfect in the field during the double-header, not recording an error over 48 chances. Lamar recorded five miscues, including four during game two of the DHMSU has outscored (10-8) and outhit (24-14) its opponents over its first three games, but have been hurt by 15 walks allowedDemetral leads the club in average, slugging, and on-base percentage, all at .500The starters ERA is 2.25, while the bullpen is at 5.06.