MSU Defeated in Baseball Opener
March 27, 1998

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa banged out seven runs on ten hits, as the Hawkeyes knocked off the Spartans, 7-2, in MSU's first Big Ten affair this season.

The loss snaps Michigan State's four-game winning streak, as the Spartans fall back to the .500 mark (9-9, 0-1). Iowa (7-5, 0-1) used three runs in the seventh to break open a tight ball game, sending them to the victory in the opener of a four-game set between the two schools.

Mark Mulder (2-2) took the loss for the Spartans, despite fanning six in 6.2 innings. His strikeout of Hawkeye left fielder Terry Ramsey in the seventh marked his 100th career whiff while wearing the Green and White. Steve Rasmussen (2-1) gained the win, giving up two runs over his six innings on the hill. David Kot went the final three frames for Iowa, chalking up his first save.

The Spartans totaled seven hits on the afternoon, with leadoff man Carlos Fernandez leading the way with a pair of singles.

After Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, the Spartans got on the board in the third. Fernandez led off by beating out a ground ball to deep short. Following a Tom Grigg line out to left, Mike Wagner laced a single over the left side of the infield, putting two runners aboard. Following a walk to Mulder to load the bases, Joe Kalczynski delivered a sacrifice fly to right to cut the Iowa lead to 2-1.

Iowa answered MSU's run with one of their own in the third, as they got back-to-back two-out hits by Nate Frese and Brian Mitchell. But Grigg responded for the Spartans, leading off the fifth frame for the Spartans with a triple into deep left-center. With one down, Mulder lined a shot to center which was caught, but allowed Grigg to score, putting MSU within one at 3-2.

But the Spartans would get no closer, as Iowa added an insurance run in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

The two squads will lock horns in a twin bill tomorrow, as Brian Murphy and Gary Zsigo will take the hill for the Spartans.

Michigan State         001 010 000 - 2  7  1
Iowa                   201 001 30x - 7 10  1

MSU: MULDER, Reader (7) and Kalczynski Iowa: RASMUSSEN, Kot (7) and Humes