April 2, 2004
EAST LANSING, MI – A walk by second baseman Oliver Wolcott in the bottom of the eleventh inning pushed Michigan State to a 1-0 victory over Iowa at Kobs Field in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Left fielder Adam Tripp led off the eleventh with a single to right field. Catcher Erik Morris followed and reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt to put two runners on with nobody out. Iowa pitcher Tim Gudex elected to intentionally walked Sean Walker to load the bases. Gudex nearly pitched himself out of the jam after getting a groundout and a fly out, but Wolcott walked to force in the winning run.
Iowa had its chances throughout the contest, but couldn’t capitalize as they left nine runners on base. The Hawkeyes had runners in scoring position all day long, but they couldn’t come up with the clutch base hit to plate any runs.
In the tenth, freshman Jason White reached on an error and shortstop Jeff Gremley followed with a double down the right field line to put runners at second and third with one man down. Spartan reliever Adam White entered the jam and struck out catcher Kris Welker and right fielder Jim Reid to keep the game scoreless.
The game featured a superb pitching dual between Iowa starter Nathan Johnson and Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, Bryan Gale. Johnson scattered six hits over eight innings, striking out four. Gale mowed down 12 Iowa batters and allowed five hits over nine innings to become Michigan State’s career leader in strikeouts and innings pitched.
Iowa and Michigan State will return to action tomorrow with a doubleheader (two 7-inning games) beginning at 12 p.m. at Kobs Field.