Spartans Sweep Indiana
MSU wins game one, 6-2; takes game two, 12-6.
March 31, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Michigan State baseball team swept Indiana in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon, taking game one, 6-2, and game two, 12-6. Junior lefty Jon Kibler threw a complete game in the opener for his second win of the season, while A.J. Dunn fired three innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win of the year in game two. Offensively, Dennis Jones led the way for the Green and White, hitting a three-run homer in game one and driving in six runs on the day. With the sweep, MSU improves to 10-9 (2-1 Big Ten) for the season and Indiana drops to 11-10 (1-2).
In the first game, Kibler hurled his first complete game as a Spartan, scattering eight hits and allowing just two runs, one earned, in seven innings of work. Kibler (2-2) was efficient, tossing less than 90 pitches while walking one and striking out four.
After three scoreless innings, Steve Gerstenberger opened the game's scoring with a solo homer to right field in the fourth, his first of the season.
The Hoosiers made things interesting with runs in the fifth and sixth. Indiana manufactured its first run, as Kibler hit Chris Hervey and then committed a balk to place Hervey on second. Hervey scored on an infield single to short, hustling around third base as a diving Doherty just missed throwing Keith Haas out at first. IU again rallied with two outs in the sixth. Tyler Cox hit a single to right, and the next batter, Andrew Means, followed suit with another single in the same spot. Cox advanced to third on the play, but the throw to third base was misplayed by the Spartan defense, and the ball scooted to foul territory in left field, plating Cox in the process.
MSU broke the game open in the seventh. Walker led off with a double and went to third on a John Lee single. Following a coaching visit to the mound, Jones drilled the first pitch after the timeout, lining a deep shot to left field for a three-run homer, his first as a Spartan.
Kibler (2-2) did the rest, closing the seventh with a strikeout and a double play to end the game.
The Spartan offense exploded for seven runs on six hits in the first inning of game two. MSU chased IU starter Eric Arnett (1-1) in the first, putting the first seven runners on base, with all of them scoring. Arnett didn't record an out before exiting - he gave up seven runs, six earned, on four hits while hitting two batters. With the score already 1-0, Roberts connected on a bases-clearing triple to the gap in right-center, bringing home three runs. Roberts, who added a sacrifice fly in the sixth, went 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI in the game. Eli Boike also had an RBI triple in the inning.
The seven-run first provided freshman southpaw Kyle Corcoran plenty of run support in his first collegiate start. Corcoran gave up one run through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third. The Hoosiers took advantage of two Spartan errors and put up a five-spot in the inning, trimming MSU's lead to 7-6. A.J. Dunn replaced Corcoran, and did an excellent job out of the pen, tossing three innings without surrendering a run while giving up just one hit. For his effort, Dunn (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory.
The score remained the same until the Spartans scored five more in the sixth to put the game away. Roberts started the scoring with a sacrifice fly, and first baseman Evan Friedland followed with a clutch two-out, bases-loaded single to plate two more runs. Jones capped the inning with a two-run double down the left-field line, giving MSU a 12-6 advantage.
Doherty went 3-for-4 with two runs in the second game, while Eric Roof went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Michigan State and Indiana finish their series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.