EAST LANSING, MICH. - Michigan State used another last-at bat comeback to pick up its fifth straight win, as the Spartans swept a doubleheader from Indiana Tech at Kobs Field on Friday afternoon.
MSU (22-19) won game one, 8-1, before its late-inning heroics in the nightcap. Trailing 2-1 heading into its final plate appearance, the Spartans scratched across two runs to take the game 3-2, marking their third come-from-behind victory in their last at bat during the last five games. MSU got four hits with no one out in the seventh of game two, with back-to-back singles by Tom Grigg and Mark Mulder scoring the tying and winning runs.
With the one-run deficit facing them in the seventh, sophomore Ted Demetral grounded down the third-base line for a lead-off double. Junior Mike Wagner followed with a soft liner just over the second baseman's outstretched glove, sending Demetral to third. Grigg then proceeded to tie the score with a sharp line drive to left, as Demetral scored to knot the game at two. Mulder, who came in as a fifth-inning replacement at DH, then grounded one down the right-field line, as the ball skipped off the glove of Indiana Tech's Jason Kennedy's diving attempt. The ball rolled into foul territory down the right field line, as Wagner raced home with the winning run.
Freshman Scott Brandell (1-1) was the benefactor of the Spartan rally in game two, as he was rewarded with his first collegiate victory. The right-hander earned the decision with three innings of hitless ball, fanning three while allowing just one baserunner in the longest outing of his career. He relieved starter John Steiger, who surrendered just two runs in four innings of service, fanning four. Ken Fischer (7-4), who came on in the sixth to close the door of Indiana Tech, took the loss.
Game one featured a Spartan offensive attack, as MSU posted eight runs on 13 hits. Wagner and Grigg each went three-for-four with a double for the Spartans, while MSU starter Gary Zsigo (6-3) cruised through six shutout innings, allowing just four hits while walking none. During the Spartans' current five-game winning streak, MSU has plated 45 runs.
Michigan State hosts another doubleheader on Sunday, April 26, as Siena Heights travels to Kobs Field. This will mark the Spartans' final appearance at Kobs Field this season. Casey Reader, making his first start as a Spartan, and David Strunk will toss for Michigan State. This will also be the last appearance at Kobs Field for MSU's three seniors, shortstop Tom Grigg and pitchers Brian Murphy and Jerry Nozewski. Game time is noon.
GAME ONE Indiana Tech 000 000 1 - 1 5 3 Michigan State 001 520 - 8 13 0Ind.Tech: Merrell and Baker; MSU: Zsigo, Axelson (7) and Kalczynski; W-Zsigo (6-3); L-Merrell (4-4); Sv. - none; HR - none.
GAME TWO Indiana Tech 100 100 0 - 2 4 1 Michigan State 000 100 2 - 3 6 0
Ind.Tech: Gaigler, Fischer (6) and Cefalde; MSU: Steiger, Brandell (5) and Kalczynski; W-Brandell (1-1); L-Fischer (7-4); Sv. - none; HR - none.
HOW THEY SCORED
MSU THIRD: Merrell pitching. Demetral flied to right. Wagner doubled to the wall in left. Grigg singled, Wagner to third. Mulder walked, Grigg to second. Kalczynski hit sacrifice fly to right, Wagner scored, Mulder to second, Grigg to third on throwing error by right fielder. Hartley grounded to shortstop. MSU 1-0.
MSU FOURTH: Merrell pitching. Pisani reached on error by shortstop. Albaugh reached on a bunt single, Pisani to third. Leson grounded to second, Pisani scored, Albaugh to second. Demetral singled to left, Albaugh scored. Wagner singled, Demetral to second. Grigg grounded double to left on a hit-and-run play, Demetral and Wagner scored. Mulder grounded to second, Grigg to third. Grigg scored on wild pitch. Kalczynski doubled on popup to right-center. Hartley flied to left. MSU 6-0.
MSU FIFTH: Merrell pitching. Pisani hit by pitch. Albaugh lined triple the wall in center, Pisani scored. Leson reached on infield single, Albaugh scored. Demetral grounded into 163 double play, Leson out at second. Wagner singled to left. Grigg singled to left-center, Wagner to second. Mulder grounded to first. MSU 8-0.
INDIANA TECH SEVENTH: Axelson pitching. Baum walked. Kennedy pinch-hit for Janssen. Kennedy grounded to third, Baum to second. McFadden tripled to right, Baum scored. Downs walked. Ward struck out looking. Casal struck out looking. MSU 8-1.
INDIANA TECH FIRST: Steiger pitching. Casal singled. Ward singled, Casal to third. Deakins grounded to third, Casal scored, Ward to third. Harper popped to shortstop. Baum struck out looking. INDIANA TECH, 1-0.
INDIANA TECH FOURTH: Steiger pitching. Harper singled. Baum struck out looking. Kennedy flied to right. McFadden doubled, Harper scored, McFadden to third on throw. Nugent grounded to second. INDIANA TECH, 2-0.
MSU FOURTH: Gaigler pitching. Kalczynski singled. Pisani reached on fielder's choice, Kalczynski out at second, 3b to 2b. Albaugh lined double to center, Pisani scored. Colvin popped to third. Doyle flied to right. INDIANA TECH, 2-1.
MSU SEVENTH: Fischer pitching. Demetral grounded double down left-field line. Wagner blooped single into right-center, Demetral to third. Grigg lined single to left, Demetral scored, Wagner to second. Mulder grounded single off glove of diving first baseman, Wagner scored, Grigg to second. MSU 3-2.