MSU Baseball Splits with Indiana

Mulder fans 14 in game one; Zsigo helps self in nightcap.

April 11, 1998

LANSING, MICH. - Brilliant pitching performances by Michigan State southpaws Mark Mulder and Gary Zsigo highlighted a doubleheader split with Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Oldsmobile Park.

Mulder (3-4) went the distance in the opener, striking out 14 and walking one in seven innings. But Indiana's two first-inning runs would be all the Hoosiers (20-18, 5-6) would need, as Chad Smith (4-2) shut down the Spartans' attack in IU's 2-0 victory.

After surrendering the two first-inning tallies, Mulder found his groove, striking out at least one batter in each inning , including each Hoosier hitter at least once during the afternoon. But Smith limited the Michigan State (14-16, 4-7) offense to just four hits, not allowing a base runner past second, as Indiana won its first game of the series.

But Zsigo (5-2) hurled the Spartans to victory with another pitching gem in the nightcap, as he went 6.1 scoreless innings. He also accounted for the game's only scoring, banging out a two-out, two-run double, as MSU took a 2-0 decision. Michigan State closer Chris Yens put down a bases-loaded, one-out Hoosier rally in the final frame, getting a strikeout and groundout to seal the shutout.

Zsigo, now 4-0 following Spartan losses this season, effectively pitched out of jams, including a second-and-third, one-out situation in the third to pick up his second Big Ten victory. The southpaw fanned four, scattering seven singles in his 6.1 innings of scoreless work.

Indiana starter Jason Torres kept Michigan State off the board until the fourth. With two down and Mulder on first via a walk, Tom Hartley blooped a ball into rightfield to put runners at the corners for Zsigo, who was also serving as the designated hitter in the contest. The Lennon, Mich., native promptly fought off a two-strike pitch, slicing it into the right-field corner for a two-bagger. Both runners came around to score, as Hartley slid in past the tag of Hoosier catcher Brandt Childs to give MSU a 2-0 edge.

Zsigo began to tire in the seventh, loading the bases with one out, as the Spartans continued to cling to the 2-0 advantage. But MSU Head Coach Ted Mahan called on his closer Yens, who has not blown a save all season. The right-hander delivered again, this time striking out Dan Haegele and getting Roger Rodeheaver on a bounceout to third baseman Mike Pisani to stall the Hoosier rally and send the Spartans home with a 2-0 victory.

The Spartans look to take three of four from the Hoosiers in the series finale at Oldsmobile Park on Sunday, with game time set for 1:00 p.m. Freshman John Steiger (1-0, 3.14) will make his first Big Ten start for Michigan State.

GAME ONE                                                 GAME TWO
Indiana                 200 000 0  -  2  6  1           Indiana          000 000 0  -  0  7  0
Michigan State          000 000 0  -  0  4  0           Michigan State   000 200    -  2  5  1

IND: Smith and Childs IND: Torres and Childs MSU: Mulder and Fernandez MSU: Zsigo, Yens (7) and Kalczynski W: Smith, 4-2 W: Zsigo, 5-2 L: Mulder, 3-4 L: Torres, 1-3 HR: none SV: Yens (4) HR: none

NOTES: Third baseman Mike Pisani is riding a seven-game hitting streak, hitting .500 (13-26) during that span. The sophomore went 3-6 during Saturday's twin bill. The Spartans are 8-2 this season when he bats in the No. 5 hole...In has been feast of famine for Gary Zsigo in his seven starts this season. In his four solid outings, the southpaw is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 innings, striking out 34 while walking 11 and allowing 26 hits. But in his three other starts, Zsigo is 1-2, with a 18.00 ERA in 12.0 innings...With his 14 strikeouts on Saturday, Mark Mulder has moved into a tie for eleventh place on MSU's single-season strikeout list with 76. The southpaw is averaging 12.74 SO/nine innings and has a 5.43 SO/BB ratio. He is looking to break Mel Behney's single-season whiff mark of 107, set in 1968...Since coming back from a March 9 hand injury, Tom Hartley has batted .333 (7-21), posting five RBI...Chris Yens mowed down two right-handed batters in the seventh inning of game two to post his fourth save of the season. The Mayville, Mich., native has owned righties this season, limiting them to a .167 average on the season. He also has held opponents to a .067 batting average when two men are out, and just a .176 average with runners on base...Catcher Joe Kalczynski has thrown out seven of 14 runners trying to steal off him this season (50.0%)...Michigan State pitching staff in 1998: 250 strikeouts, 237.1 innings.