March 25, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich. - - Michigan State baseball enjoyed unseasonably warm weather in its home opener Thursday (March 25) against Grand Valley State. Backed by sophomore Alan Cattrysse's (Chatham, Ont.) two home runs and sophomore Oliver Wolcott's (Plymouth, Mich.) 4-for-5 performance at the plate, including four stolen bases, the Spartans put an end to a six-game losing skid and made their Kobs Field debut with a convincing victory. Michigan State moves to 5-10 on the year while the Lakers fall to 12-7.
"We've got good hitters and that finally showed through today," said head coach Ted Mahan. "This was a great opening day and it puts us back on track with a win at home."
GVSU jumped to an early lead with three runs in the first. MSU got on the board when, with one out in the second inning, senior James Moreno (Holt, Mich.) hit a two-run homer, sending left fielder David Miller (Whitehall, Mich.) in.
Starting pitcher Spencer Hahn (Findlay, Ohio) allowed one double in the top of the third, striking out Grand Valley's first baseman Tim Hudnall as the MSU defense supplied two outs to get out of the inning. Hahn worked 3.2 innings, scattering six hits and allowing five runs while striking out three.
The Spartans took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third when Cattrysse hit his first home run of the season, a solo homer. Junior outfielder Travis Gulick (East Lansing, Mich.) tripled to right center - his third three-base hit of the season - while senior first baseman Scott Koerber sacrificed to right field to drive Gulick home. With the hit, Gulick kept his career-best 11-game hitting streak alive. Koerber had two hits on the day to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
GVSU added two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 5-4 advantage. Sophomore Chris Toepper picked up his first win of the season to move to 1-1 on the year, allowing two hits and just one run in 1.1 innings of work, striking out one. The Spartan bats were hot in the bottom of the fourth as State added five runs to take the lead for good.
With two outs, freshman Ryan Basham (Lowell, Ind.) singled to left field and classmate Troy Krider (Coldwater, Mich./DeKalb (Ind.))was hit by a pitch to give the Green and White two base runners. Cattrysse stepped to the plate and blasted his second home run of the day and of the season to score three for the Spartans. The rally continued as Oliver Wolcott singled to center field before Gulick homered over the left field fence to score two more and give MSU a 9-5 advantage.
Grand Valley scored once in the fifth and twice in the seventh, but it was not enough to overcome Michigan State as the Spartans added four more runs - one in the sixth and eight and two in the seventh.
Wolcott added two RBI and a run to his 4-for-5 outing. Moreno went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI and Koerber went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI.
Michigan State continues its home stand this weekend when the Spartans host Western Illinois at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28.