Baseball Drops Pair to Gophers

Spartans fall 2-1, 4-1 in twin bill.

May 2, 1998

LANSING, MICH. - Despite solid complete-game outings by its starting pitchers, Michigan State dropped a pair of contests to Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at Oldsmobile Park. The Golden Gophers took game one, 2-1, and swept the doubleheader with a 4-1 victory in the night cap.

Minnesota (35-12, 14-8) received a pair of tremendous outings from its starters as well, as Ben Birk (game one) and Dan McGrath (game two) each surrendered only one run while going the distance in their respective games. Michigan State (24-22, 7-11) drops both ends of a doubleheader for the first time this season, with the losses nearly extinguishing any hopes of making the Big Ten playoffs.

Senior Brian Murphy (5-5), starting his final game at home in a Michigan State uniform, was the tough-luck loser in game one, allowing only two runs on five hits while going the distance for the fifth time this season. But the Spartans could not solve Minnesota left-hander Birk (6-1), as MSUs only run came on Mike Wagners eighth home run of the season in the sixth.

Junior Mark Mulder (6-5) fanned five in game two, moving himself to within three strikeouts of breaking Mel Behneys 1968 mark of 107 strikeouts in a season. The southpaw now has 105 this season, but could not get any run support on Saturday, as MSU could only scratch out one run on four hits off McGrath (8-2).

Minnesota took a 3-0 lead early in the ball game on a pair of home runs by Craig Selander and Jim Egan, whose HR came in a pinch-hitting capacity. Selanders dinger was his 19th of the season, breaking Minnesotas single-season record. Michigan States lone run came in sixth, as Joe Albaugh raced home from third on a wild pitch.

Michigan State and Minnesota will lock horns in another doubleheader on Sunday, with game time being changed to noon. Gary Zsigo and John Steiger will toss for MSU.

GAME ONE
Minnesota          001 100 0  -  2  5  0
Michigan State     000 001 0  -  1  8  0

W: Birk (6-1) L: Murphy (5-5) HR: MIN: Quinlan HR: MSU: Wagner (8)

GAME TWO Minnesota 010 020 1 - 4 7 0 Michigan State 000 001 0 - 1 4 1

W: McGrath (8-2) L: Mulder (6-5) HR: MIN: Selander, Egan