April 16, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan State will try to do something Sunday that no other team in Big Ten play has been able to do against Ohio State at Bill Davis Stadium, the nine-year home venue for Buckeye Baseball, and that sweep Ohio State. The Spartans beat the Buckeyes 8-1 to take both ends of a doubleheader and take a 3-0 Big Ten series lead heading into the final game Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Michigan is the only team to win a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium and has done that twice, taking three-of-four games in both 2003 and 2004. A sweep against the Buckeyes on Sunday, combined with the sweep at Illinois to open conference play, also would mark the first time they have been swept twice in the same season since 1987 when both Purdue and Michigan claimed all four games against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are off to their worst start in conference play since opening 2-9 in 1987.
The win in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday clinched only the second series win for Michigan State against the Buckeyes and the first since 1988.
The Buckeyes scored first in the second game Saturday getting one run to cross the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) beat out a bunt down the third base line and then stole second before Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) hit him in with a single to left. That was the only scoring for Ohio State in the game, which stranded seven in the game, including the fifth inning when it loaded the bases.
Erik Morris tied the game in the top of the second inning with a home run to centerfield, his first home run of the season. The big inning was yet to come for Michigan State as it scored four runs in the top of the third to take a 5-1 lead. Sean Walker led off the inning with a single to left-center field and stole second before Troy Krider hit him in with a single down the left-field line. Adam Tripp followed with a single through the left side to put runners at first and second before Ryan Basham plated Krider and put runners at the corners for Morris, who delivered his second and third runs of the game with a double to right-center field.
The Spartans brought in another run in the fourth on a two-out single to center by Krider that scored Steve Gerstenberger, who led off the inning with a double to left-center field. The run gave Michigan State a 6-1 lead. The seventh run crossed the plate in the top of the fifth. Morris led off the inning with a single to right and then went to second on a bunt by Alan Cattryse and to third on a ground out by designated hitter Tony Clausen before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Steve Gerstenberger. The final run of the game came in the seventh when Basham scored on a wild pitch.
Craig Brookes picked up his third win of the season (3-1). He allowed the one run while limiting Ohio State to five hits. He finished with five strikeouts and walked just one. Mike Madsen (Sr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) got the loss after getting touched up for five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk. He was replaced by Jeffrey Carroll (So., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson), who gave up two more runs on four hits in two innings before giving way to Brett Hatcher (Sr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine), who pitched the final inning.
Ohio State has scored only four runs on 22 hits in the first three games of the series compared to 22 runs and 33 hits by Michigan State.
The series concludes Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the radio on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) as well as on the Internet at www.wosu.org.