April 15, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State baseball team split a doubleheader against Penn State Sunday afternoon at Kobs Field, winning game one, 4-1, but falling in the nightcap, 6-5. Junior left-hander Jon Kibler threw a three-hit complete game with five strikeouts to open the afternoon for the Spartans (15-12, 6-4 Big Ten). MSU nearly completed the sweep, but Penn State rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh in game two to win 6-5. The series concludes Monday afternoon with one nine-inning game, beginning at 3:05 p.m.
Kibler (3-3) was brilliant in tossing his second complete game of the season. He shut out the Nittany Lions (11-18, 4-5) for six innings before giving up one run in the top of the seventh. In just 86 pitches, Kibler struck out five, walked two and scattered five hits.
Michigan State collected 12 hits in the game, all off PSU starter Craig Clark. Clark (1-4) last 5.2 innings, surrendering four runs to go with four strikeouts. Second baseman Steve Gerstenberger led the way by going 3-for-4 with two runs and RBI, while shortstop Brandon Doherty also collected three hits.
Gerstenberger delivered his third hit in the sixth inning, driving home Doherty and E.J. Daws with a single to left to put MSU up 4-0.
In game two, Michigan State scored single runs in the first five innings to build a 5-2 lead going into the seventh with closer Mike Monterey (1-1) on the mound. The Nittany Lions snapped Monterey's streak of five consecutive save chances with four runs in the inning on five hits and one walk. A leadoff walk started the rally, and things unraveled from there as Penn State rattled off five straight hits. A double play ended the inning, but the damage was done.
Needing a run to stay alive in the bottom of the seventh, MSU rallied for back-to-back singles with one out, placing runners on first and second. A groundout moved the runners into scoring position with two outs, but another groundout ended the game and the comeback attempt.
Freshman lefty Kyle Corcoran was effective in his second career start, allowing only two runs, one earned, on four hits in 4.1 innings of work. Sophomore reliever A.J. Dunn continued his streak of scoreless outings with two strikeouts in the sixth.