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Murphy Leads Baseball Team to Victory

March 7, 1998

BUIES CREEK, N.C. -- After two first-inning runs, Michigan State senior Brian Murphy slammed the door on the Columbia offense, retiring the final 22 batters he faced, as the Spartans rolled to an 8-3 victory over Columbia on Saturday afternoon.

Murphy (1-1) picked up the victory for the Spartans (3-4), who will face Campbell at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Lions fall to 0-2 on the year, following a 13-6 loss to Campbell on Friday.

Columbia jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first, as they picked up runs on a sacrifice fly and a solo shot to left-center by Lion cleanup-man Hawkeye Wayne. But Murphy settled down to stop the Columbia offense following the homer, setting down the next 22 Lions he faced. He kept the Lion hitters guessing, as Columbia only managed to get one ball, a fly out to center, out of the infield during the streak.

A native of Northstreet, Mich., Murphy fanned ten while walking none during his eight innings on the hill. With those ten Ks, Murphy moves into eighth place on MSU's career strikeout list with 154, passing former Spartan Tom Olejnik. The double-digit strikeout total also marked the first time since March 2, 1997, that a Spartan hurler has reached the ten-K mark, as Murphy turned the trick against Florida Atlantic.

The Spartan offense overwhelmed Columbia starter Andy Lazerus (0-1), as MSU scored in each of the first four frames, seizing a 7-2 advantage following a three-run outburst in the fourth. Michigan State recorded ten hits on the day, as all ten Spartan batters reached base at least once, with nine recording at least one hit.

Leadoff man Mike Wagner ignited the Green and White offense in the bottom of the opening frame, as he reached on a walk and stole second. After being moved over on a ground ball by Tom Grigg, DH Mark Mulder knocked him home with a RBI single.

Michigan State took the a 3-2 lead in the second, as it got back-to-back RBI singles by Joe Albaugh and Ted Demetral. The Spartans added another tally in the third on a fielder's choice by Mike Pisani.

MSU blew the game open in the fourth, as it batted around while posting three runs to the scoreboard. Second baseman Ted Demetral was hit by a Lazerus pitch to open the inning, and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Wagner moved him to third on a ground ball to the right side, Grigg knocked him home with a RBI single. Mulder then reached first on a base on balls, and both he and Grigg moved into scoring position on another wild pitch by the Lion hurler. Catcher Joe Kalczynski, occupying the cleanup spot for the first time in his collegiate career, delivered with a single, scoring both runners to put MSUon top 7-2.

The Spartans put their final run on the board in the seventh on fielders' choice by Demetral, his second RBI of the game.

Michigan State and Campbell lock horns in the night cap of a Spartan day-night doubleheader at 7 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C. MSU southpaw Mark Mulder will take the ball for the first of four games with the Camels.

NOTES: Murphy stands one strikeout shy of seventh place on MSU's all-time strikeout list, held by Ed Hobaugh, who pitched for the Spartans between 1954-1956...Mike Wagner reached base twice for the Spartans, extending the streak to 19 games in which the Spartan leadoff man has got on base. During that time, MSU is 10-9...Sophomore Gary Zsigo, who doubles as MSU's No. 3 starter, recorded his first collegiate hit, as he pinch-hit for Mulder in the eighth...No Spartan fielder, excluding pitchers, has committed an error through seven games this season...Wagner is the lone Spartan to have recorded a hit in all seven of MSU's games this season.

Columbia        200 000 001 - 3  4  2
Michigan State  121 300 10x - 8 10  0

Col: Lazerus, Kiernan (8) and O'Reilly.
MSU: Murphy, Brandell (9) and Kalczynski.
HRs: Wayne, Columbia (1)



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