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Ohio Squeaks by Spartan Baseball

March 13, 1998

RALEIGH, N.C. - Despite a 13 hit Spartan attack, Ohio defeated Michigan State, 5-4, on Friday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.

The loss marks the third in a row for the Spartans (5-7), who now stand 3-3 during their stay in North Carolina. Ohio raises its slate to 6-1.

With a pair of pro prospects on the hill, Ohio's Robert Sismondo and MSU's Mark Mulder, dozens of Major League scouts were in attendance to see the match-up of junior southpaws. Sismondo surrendered ten hits in 7.1 innings, but effectively pitched out of jams to pick up his third win of the season. Mulder (2-1) fanned six and walked just one during his seven innings on the mound, but dropped his first decision of the season.

Michigan State had five players with two hits, as the Spartans got a runner on base in every inning. Every MSU starter got on base at least once during the contest.

Ohio jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth, as they notched single runs in the second, third and fifth frames. But Michigan State responded in the bottom half of the fifth. Center fielder Mike Wagner opened with a double just out of the reach of the opposing center fielder. Tom Grigg followed, scoring Wagner with a single to left, with Grigg advancing to second after Ohio's Brady Mangini bobbled the ball in left field. Following a Joe Kalczynski single, Grigg scored on a sac fly by catcher Carlos Fernandez, closing the gap to 3-2.

The Spartans tied the score in the sixth. Third baseman Eric Doyle opened the frame with his first collegiate base hit. Joe Albaugh, who has a current six-game hitting streak, delivered a base hit to right center, sending Doyle to third. After Doyle was cut down between third and home on a fielders' choice ground ball by Ted Demetral, Wagner singled to load the bases with one out. Grigg followed with a ground ball to Ohio second baseman Scott Malinowski, who forced Wagner at second. But Grigg beat out the relay throw to first, allowing Albaugh to score.

The Bobcats unknotted the score in the seventh, as Mike Goldstein's two-out single scored Malinowski from second. Ohio put an important insurance run on the board in the ninth, putting the Bobcats up two in the final frame.

The Spartans nearly sent the game into extra innings in the bottom of the ninth. A pair of singles by Mark Mulder and Joe Kalczynski put runners at first and second with none out. After Kalczynski was put out at second following a fielders' choice by Fernandez, putting runners at the corners, Mike Pisani busted out with a line drive to right, scoring Mulder and putting two men aboard. But Ohio reliever Joe Beyer shut the door on the Spartans, retiring the final two batters, securing a 5-4 Bobcat victory.

The same two teams lock horns in a double-header on Saturday at 1 p.m. Brian Murphy (1-1, 2.75) and Gary Zsigo (2-1, 5.17) will take the mound for MSU.

Ohio               011 010 101 - 5 10 1
Michigan State     000 021 001 - 4 13 1

Ohio: Sismondo, Beyer (8) and Conrad
MSU: Mulder, Reader (8) and Fernandez

NOTES: ssJoe Albaugh, who went two-for-five on Friday, now has a six-game hitting streak. The sophomore lefty is 9-19 during MSU's stay in North Carolina...With six strikeouts, Mark Mulder now has 37 in 27 innings...MSU has had the lead in ten of its twelve contest this season...Friday's loss marked the fifth one-run loss by the Spartans in 1998...MSU is now 0-2 when facing a left-handed starter...Six Spartan regulars are hitting .300 or better...MSU has one home run in its last eight games...Three Spartan starters are averaging more than 10+ Ks per nine innings this season: Joh Steiger (14.4), Mark Mulder (12.3) and Gary Zsigo (10.3)...80 of MSU's 111 hits this season have been singles...MSU left 13 men on base on Friday, stranding a runner in every inning...Casey Reader provided sound relief on Friday, working the eighth and ninth innings, allowing just one unearned run.



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