April 26, 1998
EAST LANSING, MICH. - Sophomore hurler Casey Reader tossed six shutout innings in his first start as a Spartan, leading MSU to a 4-0 victory over Siena Heights in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Saints rebounded, however, in game two, defeating Michigan State, 6-3.
The game-two loss snaps a Michigan State (23-20, 7-9 in conference) six-game winning streak, the program's longest since a six-game string from 4/18/92-4/22/92. Siena Heights' game- two victory marked its first victory over the Spartans since April 9, 1992, a span covering eleven games, including MSU's game-one win on Sunday. The twin bill, originally planned for noon, was pushed back until a 4:00 p.m. start due to rain.
Reader (2-1), a sophomore transfer from Toledo, fanned five while allowing just four hits and one walk over six scoreless innings on the hill in game one. The right-hander, who made his first nine appearances this season out of the bullpen, cruised through the first four innings, not allowing a runner past second. Reader then pitched himself out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the fifth to preserve the shutout. Chris Yens worked a perfect seventh to close out the victory. Ken Szych took the loss, going the distance for the Saints.
Mike Wagner went two-for-three in both contests, picking up two doubles and a triple. The junior center fielder raised his team-leading RBI total to 32 with three more knocked in during the doubleheader. Senior shortstop Tom Grigg, playing his final game at MSU's Kobs Field, went four-for-eight with two RBI.
Freshman starter David Strunk (0-1) took the loss in game two for MSU, giving up four runs in 1.1 innings on the hill. Sophomore Kimya Massey delivered a fine outing in long relief for the Spartans, keeping MSU in the contest by allowing just two hits over 4.1 innings, fanning a career-high seven while allowing no free passes. Siena Heights' Steve Keider kept the Spartans' off-balance for most of the game, keeping MSU off the board before tiring in the seventh.
The Spartans now travel to South Bend, Ind., for a highly-anticipated non-conference affair with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on Tuesday night. Michigan State will throw ace left-hander Mark Mulder (5-4, 3.33 ERA, 95 SO in 67.2 IP).
GAME ONE Siena Heights 000 000 0 - 0 4 0 Michigan State 100 201 - 4 7 1 SH: SZYCH and Holton; MSU: READER, Yens (7) and Kalcyznski
GAME TWO Siena Heights 040 002 0 - 6 8 0 Michigan State 000 000 3 - 3 9 1 SH: KEIDER, Russell (7) and Holton; MSU: STRUNK, Massey (2), Axelson (6), Nozewski (7) and Kalczynski