EAST LANSING, Mich. - Junior southpaw Mark Mulder flashed his All-American ability as he pitched and hit the Spartans to a 8-4 victory over Troy State in the Blue-Gray Classic, held at Paterson Field in Montgomery, Ala.
Mulder (1-0) picked up his first victory of the season for the Spartans (2-3), as he limited the prolific Trojan offense to just two runs over six innings of work. The 6-6 hurler struck out six while limiting Troy State (8-4), who checked into the weekend averaging 11.5 runs per game, to just one base on balls. Sophomore reliever Chris Yens picked up MSU's first save of the season, as he pitched the final three innings while holding the Spartan lead.
At the plate, Mulder was one of three Michigan State hitters to notch three hits on the day. This included a two-out, two-run double in fifth, marking MSU's game-winning RBI. Other three-hit Spartans included Ryan Leson and Joe Kalczynski.
After failing to score with a no-out, bases-loaded situation in the top of the first, the Spartan defense, now errorless over their last four contests, regained the momentum for the Green and White. With none out and a runner at first, a Troy State double was fielded cleanly by right fielder Tom Hartley, who fired a strike to cut-off man Ted Demetral, who in turn fired to the catcher Kalczynski to cut down the runner trying to score. Mulder slammed the door on the Trojans in the second, and the Spartansi offense took their turn.
MSU's Tom Grigg opened the scoring in the top of third, knocking home a single run. The Spartans posted two more in the fourth on a two-run single by Leson, and Mulder blew the game open in the fifth with his two-RBI double. Teammate Kalczynski knocked Mulder home with a two-out single of his own.
The Spartans now stand 1-1 during the Blue-Gray Classic, after falling to Iowa, 3-2, on Friday. MSU faces Providence on Sunday at noon EST, as Spartan sophomore Gary Zsigo takes the hill. Zsigo is coming off one of the finest MSU debuts in program history, as he struck out nine and limited Lamar to just three singles during six innings on the mound on Feb. 21. If the Spartans should win and the Trojans knock off Iowa, MSU would seize the Blue-Gray Classic Championship.