March 15, 1998
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kimya Massey delivered a strong five innings and Joe Albaugh recorded three doubles for the second time in a week, as the Spartans held on to defeat Ohio, 7-5, in the finale of a four-game set with the Bobcats on Sunday.
Michigan State (7-8) leaves North Carolina with a 5-4 slate during their spring trip, riding a two-game winning streak. The Spartans split four-game sets with Campbell and Ohio, and won a single game against Columbia during their week-long stint in the Raleigh area. Ohio drops to 7-3 on the season.
Massey (1-1) went five solid innings on the hill for the Spartans, surrendering just one run on six hits, as he picked up his first victory on the season. The sophomore southpaw allowed a baserunner in each inning he worked, but was successfully able to pitch out of jams. In the fourth, the Bobcats put runners on second and third with one out. But Massey responded, fanning Scott Malinowksi and Nate Conrad to hit a sinking line drive to right. Carlos Fernandez, in just his fifth game in the outfield since being moved from his catching position, came on to make a beautiful diving catch to save two runs and retire the side.
The Spartan offense recorded another ten-hit attack, plating all seven runs off Ohio starter Denny McGee (0-2). Albaugh smacked three doubles, his second three-double game in a week, to lead the hit parade. Tom Grigg and Mark Mulder also contributed two hits to the MSU cause.
Michigan State seized an early advantage, notching a pair of runs in the opening two innings. After McGee retired the first two Spartan batters in the first, Mulder drew a walk. Joe Kalczynski followed with a ground ball to short, which was booted by Ohio's Brian Wingfield, putting two runners on for Mike Pisani. The sophomore third sacker promptly delivered a two-run double to the left field wall to put MSU up 2-0.
The Spartans added two more in the second, as Gary Zsigo opened with a single, with Albaugh following with his first double of the afternoon off the right-field wall, putting runners at second and third. But McGee fanned the next two batters, leaving it up to shortstop Tom Grigg. The switch-hitter, hitting right-handed against the righty McGee, came through with a single to right-center, scoring both men. Grigg, the No. 2 hitter, now leads the team in RBI with 12 on the season.
After Fernandez' heroics in the top of the fourth, MSU added another tally in the bottom of the frame. Albaugh opened the frame with a double down the right field line. Following a wild pitch which advanced Albaugh to third, Ted Demetral delivered him home, lofting a sacrifice fly to center, putting MSU up 5-0.
After the Bobcats scored a lone tally in the top of the fifth to put them on the board, the Spartans came back with two in the bottom of the frame. Kalczynski reached to open the inning when Ohio's Scott Malinowski dropped a pop-up to second base. After the next two Spartans were retired, Gary Zsigo followed with a walk to put two runners on. For the third straight at bat, Albaugh delivered a double, knocking a drive just inside the left-field line, scoring both Kalczysnki and Zsigo to give MSU a 7-1 advantage.
The Bobcats refused to go away, picking up two runs in the half of the seventh. But Spartan reliever Scott Brandell saved the Spartans from further damage as he got out of a bases-loaded jam with by getting Ohio's Brain Wingfield to fly out to left and keep Michigan State up by four.
Ohio made it interesting in the ninth. With one down, Malinowski drove a two-run home run over the right-center field wall to bring the Bobcats within two. A single by Nate Conrad brought the tying run to plate, but reliever Chris Yens shut the door on any Bobcats idea of a comeback, getting Wingfield to fly to right and getting Mike Goldstein to bounce into a 6-4 fielders' choice to seal the victory for the Spartans.
Michigan State returns from North Carolina to face the opening weekend of Big Ten play, as they host Illinois at Kobs Field on March 20-22.
Ohio 000 010 202 - 5 10 4 Michigan State 220 120 00x - 7 10 3 Ohio: MCGEE, Beyer (6), Richard (7) and Conrad MSU: MASSEY, Brandell (6), Yens (8) and Kalczynski