May 10, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After struggling to generate offense through the first seven innings on Sunday (May 10) against Purdue, the MSU baseball team scored eight runs over the final two frames but it wasn't enough as the Boilermakers hung on for a 9-8 win. The loss ended the Spartans' conference winning streak at seven games and they are now 12-8 in the Big Ten and 22-25 overall.
The MSU offense struggled against Boilermaker starter Matt Jansen, who allowed just four singles and one Spartan runner past first base through seven complete innings.
Jansen didn't issue his first walk of the game until Jeff Holm reached on a leadoff pass in the bottom of the eighth that started the Spartan rally. Bo Felt then picked up his second single of the day and Brandon Eckerle was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, A.J. Shindler put the Spartans on the board with a single up the middle that scored two runs.
Another walk loaded the bases for Johnny Lee who hit a ball sharply toward shortstop Nick Overmyer who couldn't come up with it cleanly, allowing Eckerle to score and slash the lead to 4-3, which is how the inning ended.
The Boilermakers looked to erase any hope of a Spartan comeback in the top of the ninth as they scored five runs, keyed by a three-run triple by Eric Charles, to take a 9-3 lead.
The bottom of the ninth began just as the previous inning for the Spartans as Holm drew a leadoff walk. Felt and Eckerle followed with singles to jam the bases. Eli Boike singled to drive in one run and then Shindler drew another walk to bring in the second run of the inning to make the score 9-5.
Purdue countered by bringing in reliever Drew Wurdack to face Chris Roberts but Roberts kept the streak alive, belting a single through the right side to score two more runs and make it a 9-7 game. MSU then pulled within one run, at 9-8, when a ground out by Johnny Lee allowed Shindler to touch home.
With Roberts at third, Wurdack got Jonathan Roof to strike out and end the game and foil the Spartans comeback.
Spartan starter A.J. Achter held Purdue hitless though three complete innings before giving up a solo home run to Dan Black with one out in the fourth. He then gave up three more runs in the fifth off four singles and three walks before Kurtis Frymier came in to get the final out.
Achter is now 3-4 on the year while Jansen improved to 4-5.
The Spartans and Boilermakers will meet in the rubber match of the three-game set on Monday (May 11) at 1:05 p.m. at McLane Baseball Stadium. Freshman Tony Bucciferro is scheduled to pitch for the Green and White in what will be the final home game of the year.
Game Notes: Prior to Sunday's game, MSU honored its seven seniors, including: A.J. Dunn, Johnny Lee, Max Miller, Nolan Moody, Eric Roof, A.J. Shindler and Peter Wolff...MSU's seven-game Big Ten winning streak is tied for the second longest in school history, trailing only the 1968 team that won 12 consecutive league games.