Baseball Loses to Detroit
Spartans can't hold 6-0 lead.
April 8, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Mike Pesci's five RBI and six unearned Titan runs allowed Detroit to knock off Michigan State, 11-7, in a rain-soaked baseball contest on Wednesday afternoon at Kobs Field. Because of the wet weather, the game was called after eight innings.
The loss drops the Spartans to 12-15, 2-6 in Big Ten play. Detroit gets back to the .500 mark at 9-9.
Michigan State jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Titans came storming back, banging out eight runs in the sixth to jump in front. John Steiger started for MSU, giving up a pair of runs in his four innings of work. Kimya Massey (1-4) came in to strikeout the side in the fifth, but struggled in the sixth, as Detroit began their comeback. Three more relievers came on to finish out the final frames, but the MSU offense could not regain the lead. David Wampler (2-1) pitched 4.2 strong relief innings for the Titans, allowing just one run and one hit, despite seven walks.
Mike Pisani and Mike Wagner each collected two hits for the Spartans, while Wagner, Tom Hartley and Gary Zsigo each contributed two RBI.
Michigan State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. With one out, Pisani dropped a double down the left-field line. Wagner plated him line drive into right-center. After a single by Mark Mulder moved Wagner to third, Hartley laced a drive to Titan center fielder Chris Karney, scoring Wagner on a sacrifice fly.
The Spartans continued to pour it on Detroit starter Dave Susalla in the third. After Carlos Fernandez reached on an error, Pisani smacked a ground ball by up the middle to put runners at the corners with no one out. Wagner followed with another line drive into right-center, scoring Fernandez. After Mulder was hit in the right elbow to load the bases, Hartley hit a slow roller to the shortstop, who made the play at first. But Pisani scored to MSU up 4-0.
The scoring continued in the third, as with two runners in scoring position, Gary Zsigo drove a ball past the shortstop on a drawn-in infield, plating both Wagner and Mulder to put MSU up 6-0.
Detroit got on the board in the fourth, as the Titans rapped out four hits and two runs. But the damage could have been worse for MSU n right fielder Tom Hartleyis strike from mid-right nailed Detroitis Ryan Rumberger at the plate for the third out of the frame.
The Titans finally overwhelmed MSU in the sixth, sending 12 batters to the plate, hanging an eight on the scoreboard to take a 10-6 lead. The Detroit cause was helped by three costly Spartan errors.
MSU and Detroit both picked up single runs in eighth to account for the final score. Joe Kalczynskiis single to left scored Eric Doyle, as MSU loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the eighth. But Titan reliever Jason Knoll shut the door, striking out the only batter he faced to retire the side.
MSU now gets prepared to face Indiana at Oldsmobile Park this weekend. Brian Murphy will throw the opener on Friday against the Hoosiers.
Detroit 000 208 01 - 11 13 1 Michigan State 204 000 01 - 7 7 3
DET: Susalla, WAMPLER (4), Knoll (8) and Sanchez, Rybarczyk (5) MSU: Steiger, MASSEY (5), Reader (6), Brandell (6), Yens (8) and Fernandez, Kalczynski (8) HR: Pesci, DET