March 16, 2008
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Michigan State got two strong pitching performances and timely hitting as the Spartans won the final two games of their series against Quinnipiac at Fluor Field, the home of the Greenville Drive. MSU won the second game of the series, which was continued from Saturday because of rain, 4-2, and finished the weekend with a 6-4 win over the Bobcats. Michigan State, which has won four of its last six, moves to 7-8 on the season. Quinnipiac is 2-8.
Senior Chris Cullen (3-0), who started and pitched two innings Saturday, continued where he started and got the win with six solid innings. He scattered seven hits and allowed just one earned run. He struck out four and walked one. Senior Nolan Moody pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Senior Mark Sorensen had his best outing of the season, allowing just three hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out six and allowed just four Quinnipiac baserunners. Moody (2-1) worked 1.1 innings in the third game, picking up his second win of the season.
For the day, the Spartans played 15 innings. Junior Kyle Day went 4-for-9 and senior Justin Potes batted 3-for-8 and freshman Jonathan Roof went 3-for-4. Senior Dennis Jones had two RBI in the bottom of the eighth to give MSU the winning margin in the finale.
After rain halted play on Saturday, the second game of the series continued Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The game began in the top of the third with MSU leading, 2-1, and with Spartan runners on second and third. Michigan State got both runs across to go ahead, 4-1.
Quinnipiac's Ben Farina drove in Ryan Walfield to pull the Bobcats within 4-2. Newsome and Moody shut the door on Quinnipiac's rally, however, with three scoreless innings of relief at the end of the game.
In the series finale, Sorensen cruised, carrying a no-hitter over 5.2 innings. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Farina doubled to right-center to break up the no-hit bid. After walking the first batter of the game, he retired the next six batters before hitting Michael Amanti with a pitch in the fourth. Amanti was erased moments later on a 6-4-3 double play. Sorensen then retired the next nine batters in order.
Michigan State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Doherty singled, stole second and scored on an RBI singled by freshman Jonathan Roof.
Roberts smacked an RBI triple to right in the fifth and later scored on a Day RBI groundout to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
Quinnipiac took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth after Sorensen came out of the game. Pete Kummerfeldt had an RBI single and Joe Poletsky had an RBI double in the inning, which included two MSU errors.
The Spartans' timely hitting came in the bottom half of the eighth. Potes led off with a single to right-center. Pinch-hitter Evan Friedland then quickly sent a single to right, allowing Potes to move to third. Doherty then drove Potes home with a sac fly to left, tying the game 4-4. Jonathan Roof then singled, and with runners on first and third, Jones delivered the big hit of the inning.
On a 1-2 pitch, he lofted a blooper into shallow right, with Bobcat second baseman Amanti giving chase. Amanti had a long run and the ball nicked off his glove and rolled into foul territory, giving Jones a two-run triple and MSU a 6-4 lead. Moody (2-1) retired Quinnipiac in order in the ninth.
After 15 games on the road, Michigan State is set to open at home Friday, March 21 against Oakland at Kobs Field. First pitch is at 3:05 p.m.