April 7, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Mark Mulder struck out ten of the 21 batters he faced, as the southpaw pitched six scoreless innings to lead Michigan State to a 4-0 shutout victory over Oakland on Tuesday afternoon at Kobs Field.
Mulder (3-3) allowed only three hits and no walks, as he struck out the side in both his first and last innings on the mound. Scott Brandell and Chris Yens closed out the final three innings to preserve the shutout for MSU (12-14, 2-6). Oakland (4-12) drops its third in a row, as starter Gary Larson (0-2) takes the loss, despite giving up just two runs in five frames.
The Spartans picked up single runs in the third and fourth before Mike Wagner's two-run home run in the seventh that put the game out of reach. MSU is now 2-0 at Kobs Field this season, outscoring opponents 16-0.
Mulder struck out double digits for the second time this season (he fanned 16 on March 7), as he now has fanned 62 in 46.2 innings, surrendering just 13 walks. The 6-foot-6 junior pitched efficiently, hurling six innings with a pitch count in the low sixties. Mulder is scheduled to pitch on Saturday during game one of a twin bill with Indiana at Oldsmobile Park.
The Spartans got on the board first in the third inning. With two down, Ted Demetral went down swinging. But Larsonis punch-out pitch skipped in the dirt, eluding Pioneer catcher Tom Biljan, as Demetral reached first. After Demetral stole second, Mike Wagner brought him home with a single to center. Wagner and Carlos Fernandez each had two hits for the Spartans.
MSU got on the board in the next frame, building a 2-0 edge. Mike Pisani and Tom Hartley led off with back-to-back singles. But Pisani was cut down at third on a busted hit-and-run play, leaving Hartley at second with one down. After Larson notched his fourth K of the contest, Joe Kalczynski blooped a ball into shallow right field to bring home Hartley from second. Since returning from a hand injury on April 4, Hartley is 4-8 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Mike Wagner gave MSU its final 4-0 advantage in the seventh. Fernandez led off the frame reaching on an error by the Pioneer shortstop, Greg Rogers. After a fly out to center, Mike Wagner blasted his fourth home run of the campaign deep over the wall in left-center. His second HR at Kobs Field in two games this season, Wagner leads MSU in homers (4) and RBI (19).
Michigan State will host Detroit at Kobs Field on Wednesday, April 8, starting at 3:00 p.m. John Steiger (1-0, 2.61 ERA) will start for MSU, with Kimya Massey (1-3, 7.97) likely to also see time on the hill for the Spartans.
Oakland 000 000 000 - 0 5 1 Michigan State 001 100 20x - 4 7 0
OAK: Larson, Fuhrmann (6), Letson (8) and Biljan MSU: Mulder, Brandell (7), Yens (9) and Fernandez, Kalczynski (7), Fernandez (9)
HR: Wagner, MSU, (4)