EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ On a beautiful spring day with the temperature in the low-60s, the Michigan State baseball team defeated Concordia, 6-3, in the 2007 home opener at Kobs Field Saturday afternoon. Down 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Spartans (7-8) rallied for one run in the sixth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth in the 6-3 victory. Dennis Jones went 2-for-4 with four stolen bases for MSU, including a two-run RBI single in the seventh that put the Green and White up 4-3.
â€œIt was a great day for MSU baseball,â€ said Spartan head coach David Grewe. â€œOpening Day, great crowd, and the team found a way to win the game.â€
Craig Brookes, who leads the Big Ten in ERA, lowered his average to 1.01 with three scoreless innings to start the game. Brookes was efficient, allowing no walks and just one hit while striking out three.
The Spartans gave Brookes the early lead with a run in the first. Jones led off with a bunt single, stole second, and advanced to third on a Chris Roberts sacrifice bunt. With Kyle Day on first with a walk, Coach Grewe put on the double steal, and Jones scored easily while Day went to third on a throwing error by the shortstop.
The lead held until the fifth, as Concordia (9-6) scored a run on a Nate Peak RBI single up the middle. The Cardinals went up 3-1 with two runs in the sixth. Alex Hoover doubled down the right-field line to plate Robert Baker, and Hoover scored two batters later on a fielding error by Spartan third baseman Justin Potes.
MSU got one back in the seventh, as Roberts hit a one-out double to left, stole third, and advanced home on a throwing error by the Cardinal catcher. The Spartans left the bases loaded to end the inning, but responded with three runs in the eighth. Sean Walker led off with a walk and went to third on an Eric Roof double to right field. Jones then stepped up to the plate, and delivered a single to center, plating Walker and Roof to give the Spartans a 4-3 advantage. Jones later scored on a fielderâ€™s choice to the shortstop.
The Spartans added an insurance run in the eighth on a Walker sacrifice fly.
Peter Wolff picked up his first career victory on the mound by throwing a scoreless seventh. A.J. Dunn followed with a scoreless eighth, and Mike Monterey earned his second save of the season by closing out the ninth.
Props to Ben Phlegar, the MSU SID.