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Spartans Rally In The Eighth Inning To Defeat Western Michigan, 7-5

April 12, 2006

Box Score

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Trailing 5-4, Michigan State (15-13) baseball rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 7-5 win from Western Michigan (16-13) Wednesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich. Reliever Chris Cullen (2-0) picked up the win, throwing the final two outs in the eighth, while A.J. Dunn closed out the ninth to earn his second save of the year.

The Broncos took a 2-0 lead in the second as Western Michigan's Brent Gerlach followed two walks with a two-run single to left center. WMU added a run in the third inning and the Spartans found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-0 score.

With two runners on board in the fourth inning, Ryan Basham tied the game at 3-3 with one swing, blasting his third home run of the season well over the right field fence.

Western Michigan regained a 5-3 lead in the sixth inning, as Mark Abro collected one of his three hits on the night, a two-run double down the left-field line.

Chipping away in the home at bat of the sixth, the Spartans cut the deficit to 5-4. Leadoff batter Tony Clausen cracked a stand-up triple to start the inning and later scored on an RBI by Kyle Day.

With former Spartan teammate Drew Mahan on the mound for the Broncos in the eighth inning, MSU's bats came alive. Basham, Day and Adam Tripp each singled to load the bases with no outs. Alan Cattrysse then recorded the game-tying RBI, drawing a walk from Mahan as the Spartans evened the score at 5-5. Sean Walker's sacrifice fly and Steve Gerstenberger's RBI single capped the rally as Michigan State went on to win, 7-5.



Cullen struck out one and walked one, allowing no runs and no hits in the winning effort. Mahan (1-2) took the loss for WMU, allowing three runs on four hits in 1.0 innings.

Basham and Cattrysse each collected two hits for MSU, while Abro was 3-for-5 from the plate for Western Michigan.

Michigan State returns to action this weekend, traveling to University Park, Pa., for a four-game series against Big Ten foe Penn State.

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