May 15, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - A ninth-inning rally for the Michigan State baseball team came up a run short in its series finale Sunday against Penn State as the Spartans dropped a 3-2 decision at Kobs Field. With the loss, MSU fell to 20-28 (9-15 Big Ten), while Penn State improved to 27-23 (12-16) on the season. The Spartans concluded their home schedule with a 6-9 record, including a 2-3 mark during their final homestand.
Michigan State claimed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on sophomore left fielder Ryan Basham's (Lowell, Ind.) RBI single to left field that scored sophomore shortstop Troy Krider (Coldwater, Mich.), who reached base with a one-out single.
In the third inning, Penn State scored three runs on one hit, taking advantage of two Spartan errors to build a 3-1 lead. Junior Colin Runt led off the inning with a walk and later scored on an RBI infield groundout by junior Derrick Barr. Freshman James Spinelli drove in Barr with a double to left center off MSU starting pitcher Matt Trausch (Charlotte, Mich.).
Sophomore second baseman E.J. Daws (Bozeman, Mont.) opened the bottom of the ninth with a double and freshman center fielder Ryan Sontag (Monroe, Mich.) followed with a single. The Spartans pulled to within 3-2 as Daws scored on the next play thanks to a throwing error by the Nittany Lions while Sontag stole second base. Penn State reliever Clint Eury recorded the final three outs, including a pop fly from Basham to center field to seal the win.
Penn State managed just six hits off two Spartan pitchers, including two by Spinelli who finished 2-for-4. Junior Alan Stidfole (6-4) earned the win for the Nittany Lions, allowing two runs (none earned) on 11 hits while registering seven strikeouts in eight innings. Eury pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Daws went 3-for-4 at the plate to pace Michigan State's 11-hit attack, while three other Spartans each tallied two hits. Trausch (0-1) took the loss for MSU, allowing three runs (none earned) on three hits in five innings of work. Junior reliever Jeff Gerbe (Shelby Township, Mich.) held Penn State scoreless over four innings to keep the Spartans' comeback hopes alive.
The Spartans travel to Mount Pleasant to take on Central Michigan in a non-conference contest on Tuesday, May 17 at 3 p.m.