April 23, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After falling to Illinois in game one in extra innings, 4-3, Michigan State rebounded to score seven runs in the first inning of game two of the doubleheader and went on to win, 10-2, on Friday afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field. Spartan senior outfielder Bo Felt hit two home runs on the day, one in each game, and game two starting Kurt Wunderlich tied a career high with eight innings pitched to improve to 7-1 on the year.
"It was a tough loss in game one, but give Illinois credit for winning a good college baseball game," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. "They took advantage of some mistakes we made and they played well.
In game two, we were a little upset and came out and took out some frustrations early on. We put up a big number in the first inning which was much needed."
The disappointment of dropping game one in extra innings clearly motivated the Spartans for game two as they came out and sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the first inning.
In his first game hitting from the leadoff spot, Ryan Jones belted a double to get things started. After a pop out and a walk, Jeff Holm doubled to bring in the first two runs. Torsten Boss followed with an RBI-double to make it 3-0. Two-out RBI-hits by Felt and Brandon Eckerle scored two more runs for the Green and White and then Jones made it 7-0 with a two-RBI single in his second at-bat of the frame. Jones finished the second game 3-for-5.
"That first inning provided a spark for us for the remainder of the game," Boss said.
The Spartans (25-11, 6-5) made it 8-0 in the second, ending the Illinois' game-two starter Kevin Johnson's (3-2) day after just one complete inning.
Wunderlich allowed a hit in the second inning and then retired the next 10 consecutive before giving up two singles in the fourth. He finished the game with two strikeouts and no walks.
"I felt pretty good early on today," Wunderlich said. "I didn't really locate that well and they hit some balls hard but the defense played great."
A double steal got Illinois (18-17, 5-6) on the board in the top of the fifth, but Felt got the runs back for MSU in the bottom of the frame with his second home run of the day. His two-run blast made it 10-1.
The Illini added one more off reliever Kyle Corcoran in the ninth to give MSU a much-needed win in game two, 10-2.
Boss gave MSU a 1-0 lead in game one with the first hit of the game in bottom of the second inning with a two-out solo home run over the wall in right center field.
The Illini responded though with back-to-back, two-out RBI singles to take the lead in the top of the third inning, 2-1.
After stranding two runners in the third inning and failing to take advantage of a leadoff walk in the fourth, Felt tied the game for MSU with a leadoff solo shot to left field in the bottom of the fifth. Andy Johnson followed Felt with double and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Eli Boike to give MSU the lead, 3-2.
Illinois' Casey McMurray countered to tie the game in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to left field. Achter then walked consecutive batters with no outs, putting Illinois in position to take the lead. Achter and the Spartan defense rose to the occasion though, as Johnson made a diving catch on a foul ball for the first out, Achter followed with a strikeout and then got Pete Cappetta to fly out to center to end the inning with the score tied at three.
Achter, who finished the game with seven Ks, followed by sending the Illini down in order in the top of the seventh inning as he and Illinois starter Lee Zerrusen combined to allow a total of just 11 hits through seven innings.
After getting out of the jam in the top of sixth inning, Achter didn't allow a base runner until the ninth inning. While Achter kept the Illini hitters in check, the Spartan offense couldn't come through at the plate as they left three runners on base in the seventh, eight and ninth innings.
In the 10th, Tim Simpson (0-1) came on in relief of Achter and hit the first batter of the inning, Josh Parr. Parr eventually came around to score on a fielder's choice RBI by McMurray.
Down one in the 10th, Illinois reliever Bryan Roberts sent the Spartans down in order for his sixth save of the year.
Wes Braun, who took over for Zerrusen in the seventh, earned the win in game one.
The two teams will meet in the rubber match of series on Saturday at 12:05 at McLane Baseball Stadium.