Baseball Loses Heartbreaker To Ohio State, 12-10
Scott Koerber blasts two home runs to lead Spartans in series finale.
April 18, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State baseball lost the finale of a four-game series against Ohio State Sunday, April 18 at Kobs Field, 12-10. State falls to 18-15, 7-5 in the Big Ten, falling from first place in the conference standings while Ohio State improves to 17-14, 8-4 in the conference to move into first place in the Big Ten.
Scott Koerber (Harper Woods, Mich.) led the Spartans, going 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and three RBI. James Moreno (Holt, Mich.) also went 3-for-5, notching two RBI and a homer of his own. Adam White (Jenison, Mich.) threw three innings in relief and picked up his first loss of the season to fall to 2-1 on the year, striking out five. Craig Brookes (Naperville, Ill.) made the start on the mound for the Spartans, striking out three and allowing six runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work.
Ohio State's Trent Luyster (2-3) picked up the win, working 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits, striking out four while Brett Hatcher got his first save of the season, striking out the final batter for the win.
OSU led off the game with a run in the first when Drew Anderson got aboard on a double down the left line, advanced to third on a Jacob Howell ground out to first and scoring when Jedidiah Stephen singled into the left center gap to give the Buckeyes the lead.
But MSU countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning as Alan Cattrysse (Chatham, Ont.) led off with a single to center field and Oliver Wolcott (Plymouth, Mich.) followed with a single through the right side to send Cattrysse to third. Travis Gulick (East Lansing, Mich.) reached base on a fielder's choice, scoring Cattrysse and putting Wolcott out at second. Koerber grounded into a double play to end the inning tied at 1-1.
Ohio State took a 3-1 lead in the third when, with one runner on base, Steve Caravati sent a deep shot over the fence in left field. They put up another in the fifth when Derek Kinnear got on base with a double down the right field line and went to third on an error by catcher Erik Morris (Orchard Lake, Mich.). Howell grounded into a double play for the first and second outs of the inning, scoring Kinnear. The Buckeyes posted two more in the sixth after Ronnie Bourquin blasted a solo homer to right field and Jason Zoeller was issued a walk and stole second heading to third when Mike Rabin ground out to second base. He scored on a Drew Anderson single into right field.
Down 6-1 heading to the bottom of six, the Spartans mounted a courageous comeback effort. The Green and White posted three runs in the bottom half of the inning when Gulick led off with a deep shot over the left field wall, giving the junior right fielder a home run in each of the last three games. Koerber followed suit with a homer over the fence in left. Trey Fausnaugh relieved OSU starter Dan DeLucia, but Morris got the better of him with a single to center field. Moreno took first on a fielder's choice as Morris was put out at second. Freshman Ryan Basham (Lowell, Ind.) singled to right field, moving Moreno to second and Sean Walker (Round Lake, Ill.) was issued a walk to load the bases for OSU. After getting just one out in the inning, Fausnaugh was relieved by Luyster who gave up a single to Troy Krider (DeKalb, Ind.), scoring Moreno. Luyster retired Cattrysse and Wolcott on strikes to end the sixth with a Buckeye lead of 6-4.
OSU answered with a run in top of seven. Throwing in relief, Adam White got Caravati to ground out to third before giving up a home run to Stephen. White then struck out Bourquin and got Garrard to foul out to Koerber at first to limit the Buckeye scoring to just one run.
The Spartans opened the floodgates in the bottom of the inning, scoring five runs off Luyster. Gulick led off with a single through the left side and Koerber hit his second home run of the game to pull the Spartans within one run. Morris hit a shot to center field and Moreno homered into left center to take the lead, 8-7. The Spartans put up a fifth run when Sean Walker homered straight out to center field and headed to the eighth with a two-run lead.
But the floodgates had not closed - OSU sent Jeffrey Carroll in to pinch-hit for Jason Zoeller, but White sent Carroll down on strikes for the first out of the inning. Rabin doubled and Kinnear followed with a double of his own, but Rabin did not score with a tough fielding effort from the Spartans. White caught Anderson looking and with two on base and two outs, Howell sent a ground ball to Krider at shortstop but, in trying to smother the ball, it jumped off Krider's hand and took a high hop into center field, allowing both Rabin and Kinnear to score on the error, tying the game at 9-9. It was the error that made the difference as Ohio State put up five runs - all unearned in the eighth - to take the 12-9 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Luyster caught both Wolcott and Gulick looking before Koerber grounded out to shortstop to end the eighth down three runs.
Adam Tripp (Saugus, Calif.) replaced Cattrysse in center field in the ninth as Carroll singled to center to lead off. But Rabin flied out to Gulick in right field before White struck out Kinnear and Anderson to end the half inning.
With help from OSU in the ninth, Morris reached base with an error by Ohio State shortstop Brett Garrard. Moreno singled to send Morris into scoring position, but Basham ground into a double play that allowed Morris to head to third. Walker hit a deep shot into left center, allowing Morris to score and putting himself in scoring position. E.J. Daws (Bozeman, Mont.) came in to pinch hit for Krider and drew a walk before Brett Hatcher replaced Lusyter on the mound. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Hatcher got Tripp to go down swinging to end the game in the Buckeyes' favor, 12-10.
Michigan State returns to action Wednesday, April 21 with a single game against Central Michigan at Kobs Field First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.