Western Kentucky Takes Two From Spartan Baseball
March 15, 2003
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Michigan State baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader at Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon (March 15) at Nick Denes Field. MSU lost 3-2 in game one and 13-3 in game two. The Spartans are now 3-9 for the season, while the Hilltoppers improve to 9-6.
Western Kentucky scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Spartans in game one. Tim Grogan delivered a RBI double to tie the game at two and Anotone Toms nailed a single up the middle to bring Grogan and the winning run home on the next play for WKU.
Most of the game was a pitching duel between starters Bryan Gale (Jr., Decatur) and J.C. Faircloth. Both starters kept the game scoreless through five innings until each team plated a run in the sixth. MSU got on the board first on an Alan Cattrysse (Fr., Chatham, Ontario) sacrifice fly that brought home Brett Wattles (Sr. Rochester). The Hilltoppers countered with their own sac fly in the bottom of the sixth, tying the game at 1-1.
The Spartans knocked Faircloth out of the game in the seventh as they went ahead 2-1. Travis Gulick (So., East Lansing), who started the inning with a single, scored from third on an error by the WKU third baseman to take the lead. MSU then had runners on first and third with one out, but Hilltopper reliever Adam Prida came into the game and got of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.
Gale found himself in a jam in the bottom of the seventh as WKU threatened with runners on second and third and one out. After a popout, third baseman James Moreno (Jr., Holt) made a spectacular diving catch to save a double down the left-field line, preserving the Spartan lead after seven.
MSU failed to extend the lead in the eighth as pinch-runner David Miller (Jr., Whitehall) was thrown out at home by WKU left-fielder David Lower for the third out of the inning.
Gale (2-2), who was knocked out in the bottom of the eighth, gave up three runs - two earned - on four hits and two strikeouts in the loss. Prida (1-0) tossed 1.2 innings to get the win for WKU, while Matt Wilhite closed the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
MSU took an early 1-0 lead in game two on a Brady Burrill (Sr., Valencia, Calif.) RBI single. Burrill tied a career-high with four hits in the second game and went 5-for-8 in the doubleheader to improve his team-best batting average to .439.
WKU stormed back with six runs in the fourth off MSU starter Tim Day (So., West Chester, Ohio). Day (1-3) lasted six innings, surrendering nine hits on seven runs with five strikeouts.
The Hilltoppers added two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to combine for 13 runs and 17 hits in the game.
Moreno nailed a RBI double in the fifth and Wattles blasted his second home run of the season in the sixth for the Spartans.
MSU collected 13 hits in the second game, but couldn't capitalize in many key situations as it left 12 runners on base.
Michigan State and Western Kentucky complete the three-game series tomorrow (Sunday, March 16) at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky., beginning at 2 p.m.
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