April 26, 2008
LANSING, MI – Michigan State scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a tie and top the Iowa Hawkeye baseball team, 16-7, in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader at Oldsmobile Park. The Spartans swept today’s twinbill having topped the Hawkeyes in game one, 6-3.
Michigan State scored seven of its 13 runs via the long ball; the Spartans clubbed a three-run homer and a grand slam en route to victory.
In the loss, Justin Toole extended his season-long hitting streak to 14 games, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Caleb Curry was 2-for-4, with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Curry has now collected a team-best 13 multi-RBI games. Justin Brauer went 2-for-4 with a run.
“Today was symbolic of our season,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “We played two great games prior to today (at UNI Wednesday and at Michigan State Friday) and we looked like a totally different ball club today. Our energy level, mental toughness and focus wasn’t there. We’re a very inconsistent baseball team right now.”
Michigan State (16-22, 6-12) jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings. The Spartans recorded a sacrifice fly in the first inning and scored five runs on four hits in the second frame off Hawkeye starter Matt Mossey. Michigan State plated its five second-inning runs on a sacrifice fly, an RBI single and a three-run home run. Four of the five runs in the second inning came with two outs.
Iowa (16-24, 6-13) mounted a comeback in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs on four hits. The Hawkeyes started the frame with three consecutive hits. Zach McCool and Toole singled and then Curry drove them home with a two-RBI double to center field. Two batters later, Kurtis Muller recorded an RBI groundout to third plating Curry to trim Iowa’s deficit to 6-3.
The Spartans answered with one run in the bottom of the fifth. After a leadoff single and sacrifice bunt, Chris Roberts plated Steve Gerstenberger with a RBI single to center to build a 7-3 cushion. Gerstenberger was 3-for-4 with a walk and four runs scored in game two.
The Black and Gold continued to swing the bat well in the top of the fifth scoring three more runs on four hits. Brauer doubled to right center to start the Hawkeye rally. Two batters later, Toole recorded his 35th RBI of the season with a single to left. Curry stepped to the plate next and deposited the first pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homer, his team-leading fourth of the year, to cut the Spartan advantage to 7-6.
Iowa climbed all the way back after trailing by six runs early in the contest to tie the game in the sixth. The Hawkeyes loaded the bases with one out and Toole delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Ryan Gryzwa and even the contest at 7-7.
The Spartans reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth, sending 14 batters to the plate, scoring nine runs on seven hits. Hawkeye reliever Andrew Porter started the inning, but was unable to record an out. Porter, who took the loss, yielded seven runs, while Patrick Shatz allowed two. The big blow was a grand slam off the bat of Eric Roof.
The Hawkeyes will look to split the four-game weekend series tomorrow with a nine-inning game against Michigan State. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. (CDT) at Oldsmobile Park.
GAME SUMMARYIowa 000 331 0 -- 7 10 0Michigan St 150 109 X -- 16 17 0
WP - Wunderlich (2-2)LP - Porter (1-3)