April 30, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Justin Potes hit a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to push the Michigan State baseball team past Oakland, 7-6, Wednesday afternoon at Kobs Field. Freshmen Jonathan Roof and Brandon Eckerle and junior Kyle Day each had two hits to lead the Spartans, who have won their last four - and five of their last six - games.
Potes' big hit capped the decisive rally in the ninth. MSU (18-22) trailed 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth with the top of the order coming to bat. Eckerle, the leadoff man, walked and Jonathan Roof singled up the middle to put two on with nobody out. Day was then hit in the back to load the bases. Potes then stroked a 1-0 pitch from Oakland closer Justin Wilson through the left side to score Eckerle and Jonathan Roof to give MSU the victory.
Freshman Kurt Wunderlich pitched the top of the ninth to move his record to 3-2. Wilson (0-2) took the loss for the Grizzlies (9-20).
MSU led 2-1 most of the game until Oakland struck for four runs in the top of the seventh. OU back-up catcher Josh Kozuch hit a solo shot to left for the first run of the inning, and Dan Ryan hit a three-run homer to give the Grizzlies a 5-2 lead.
The Spartans answered with three runs in the eighth, as Day roped a leadoff double and scored on an Oakland error. Senior Evan Friedland then slapped an infield base hit to make it 5-4, and sophomore Chris Roberts singled home another run later in the inning to tie the game.
Oakland's Scott Sexton doubled home Ryan in the top of the ninth to give OU a 6-5 lead.
Each team sent 20 players into the game. MSU used eight pitchers and Oakland used seven. Ryan had four RBI and Dustin Joffrion went 3-for-4 to lead the Grizzlies.
The game was a makeup game from a snowed out series earlier this season. Michigan State and Oakland were scheduled to play three games March 21-23 at Kobs Field.
MSU travels to Penn State for a four-game series this weekend. Game one is set for Friday, May 2 at 6:35 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader at Penn State will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.
Roberts, who finished April with a .456 batting average during the month, has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games...Freshman lefty Tyler Newsome made his second career start for the Spartans. He allowed one run on three hits over 2.0 innings...Senior Chris Cullen, a usual weekend starter, made his second relief appearance of the season. He retired all five batters he faced...MSU finishes April with a 10-10 record.