March 10, 2007
TAMPA, Fla. - Junior left-hander Jon Kibler recorded his first victory as a Spartan, striking out nine in seven innings of work, as the Michigan State baseball team topped South Florida, 7-5, Saturday night at Red McEwen Field. Kibler, a junior college transfer, allowed just two runs and scattered four hits in the win. At the plate, the Spartans (5-5) delivered 14 hits, including a 4-for-5 performance off the bat of junior second baseman Steve Gerstenberger.
The Bulls (12-6), who were ranked earlier this season, scored the game's first run in the opening frame. The Green and White rallied for two runs in the second and two in the third to go up 4-1. In the second, Dennis Jones singled home Sean Walker and Justin Potes. MSU added to its lead in the third as Gerstenberger hit a solo homer, his first of the year. Kyle Day reached on an error a batter later, and scored on an RBI single by Walker to make it 4-1.
South Florida scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third, cutting the Spartan lead to 4-2. In the fifth, Gerstenberger led off with a single up the middle and scored three batters later as Potes drove him home with a single through the right side.
The Spartans extended their lead to 7-2 with two runs in the seventh on four hits, including RBI singles by Evan Friedland and Potes. Potes finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Kibler gave up a run on two hits in the seventh and was relieved in the eighth after walking the leadoff batter. Nolan Moody got the call for the Spartans, and although USF scored one run, Moody struck out three in the inning.
Moody surrendered a leadoff homer in the ninth that made it 7-5, but Mike Monterey came on for MSU and collected his first save of the season by recording a flyout and a groundout to close the game.
MSU closes out its spring trip Sunday afternoon against Quinnipiac in Tampa at noon.