BUIES CREEK, N.C. -- Campbell's Corey Byrd limited the Michigan State offense to just two hits over eight innings, as the Camels slipped past MSU on Wednesday, 2-1.
Campbell (11-10) picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh to unknot a 1-1 tie and grab the victory. Reliever Scott Brandell (0-1) took the loss for Michigan State (5-6). Byrd jumps to 2-0, as he struck out 12 and walked one during his time on the hill. Camel closer J.T. Thomas struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the seaon.
The loss spoiled the strong collegiate debut of Michigan State starter John Steiger. The Webberville, Mich., native struck out eight while allowing just a single unearned run over five innings on the hill. Steiger started his career off right in the first inning, as he struck out the side. The 6-4 right-hander proceeded to fan five more over the next three frames, as he surrendered just four hits and two walks.
Michigan State opened the game with a 1-0 lead in the first. With two outs, designated hitter Mark Mulder reached first when Camel third baseman Jeff Huff booted a routine ground ball. Cleanup man Joe Kalczynski knocked Mulder home with a double off the right field wall
Steiger was able to keep the Camels off the board early, as he recorded two-out strikeouts to strand runners at third in both the first and third innings. But Campbell broke through with a run in the fourth. With two down and runners at first and second, Spartan second baseman Ted Demetral could not handle a ground ball by Camel catcher Jeff Davis, allowing Jeff Huff to score, tying the game at one.
After Steiger hurled 99 pitches over five innings, Brandell came on in the sixth and put the Camels down 1-2-3. But Davis led off the Campbell seventh with a single against the DeWitt, Mich., native. Bradley Coates' sacrifice attempt came right back to Brandell on the mound, who threw the ball into centerfield in his attempt to get the lead runner, putting runners at first and second. Following a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to load the bases with one out, pinch-hitter Jason Marcano beat out a double-play ball at first, allowing Davis to score the deciding run.
Michigan State has a day off before facing Ohio University on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C., as the Spartans continue their spring trip. MSU, now 3-2 on its spring trip, lock horns with Ohio for four games over the weekend, including a doubleheader on Saturday.
________________________________________ Michigan State 100 000 000 - 1 3 2 Campbell 000 100 10x - 2 6 3 MSU: Steiger, Brandell (6), Yens (8) and Kalczynski Camp: Byrd, Thomas (9) and Davis HRs: none
NOTES: Joe Albaugh now has a current five-game hitting streak, as he reached on a single in the ninth inning. The lefty-hitting sophomore is hitting .500 (8-16) in his last six games, including three doubles, five RBI, three walks, a steal, a sacrifice fly and a sac bunt...Steiger was the second rotation member to have an excellent collegiate debut on the hill for the Spartans. Gary Zsigo, who debuted on Feb. 21 against Lamar, picked up the victory by fanning nine and allowing just three hits in six innings during MSU's 4-0 shutout victory over the Cardinals...MSU has now lost four one-run ball games this season...None of the three runs during today's game was earned...
An MSU player has recorded double digit putouts in four of the five games on the spring trip, with Joe Kalczynski recording ten behind the plate on Wednesday...Even with two errors on Wednesday, the Spartans are still fielding .982, with their opponents compiling just a .959 fielding percentage...Two of MSU's three hits were doubles on Wednesday - Kalczynski's first-inning RBI shot to right, and rightfielder Carlos Fernandez' bad-hop double off the face of Camel third baseman Jeff Huff in the fifth...Spartan starters have recorded 81 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched, with the staff as a whole posting 98 Ks in 90.1 innings...With no earned runs allowed on Wednesday, MSU's team ERA dropped to 4.58...Every Michigan State offensive starter struck out at least once, the first time that has happened this season...
MSU has one home run over its last seven games...Ted Demetral struck out against Byrd in the fifth, marking only the third time in his career that the sophomore second sacker has fanned in non-conference play...MSU has faced a left-handed pitcher just once this season, accumulating 25 at-bats versus Steve Rasmussen of Iowa (eight hits)...Three Spartan starting pitchers are averaging over ten strikeouts per nine innings: John Steiger (14.4), Mark Mulder (13.9) and Gary Zsigo (10.3)...Campbell's Chris Warren got a single off Spartan right-hander Chris Yens in the eighth, marking just the second right-handed base hit off Yens in 15 ABs (.133). Overall, opponents are hitting just .190 off the Mayville, Mich., native...Albaugh is the leading Spartan hitter in North Carolina at .500 (7-14)...Opponents are just one-for-seven with the bases loaded against the Spartans.