EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ With temperatures in the low-30s and the wind chill in the mid-20s, the Michigan State baseball team battled the elements and came away with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Purdue on Easter Sunday at Kobs Field. The Spartans, winners of six of their last seven, extended their winning streak to four games and improved to 4-1 in the Big Ten Conference (12-9 overall). Originally scheduled to be a doubleheader, only one nine-inning game was played on Sunday due to the cold weather. The series concludes Monday with a doubleheader starting at 12:05 p.m.Â
Senior Craig Brookes showed why he owns the lowest ERA in the Big Ten with another strong outing against Purdue. Brookes (3-1) struck out five and only allowed two runs, one earned, while giving up eight hits in seven innings of action.
Purdue (12-11, 2-4) scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. Jon Moore singled to left, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Spartan catcher Kyle Day. Alex Jaffee capitalized on the miscue, driving home Moore with a single up the middle to give PU a 1-0 lead.
MSU bounced right back with an unearned run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Chris Roberts, who stretched his hitting streak to eight games, led off the inning with a single and went to second on an Evan Friedland single to center. Eli Boike then hit a grounder to short, but instead of turning the double play, and errant throw by the Purdue second baseman allowed Roberts to score from second and put Boike on first base safely.
The Spartans took a 2-1 lead with another run in the third. Back-to-back bunt singles by Eric Roof and Dennis Jones placed runners on first and second with no outs, and a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Doherty moved both runners into scoring position. Roof was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to Boilermaker third baseman Dan Black, but on the next pitch, Jones scored on a wild pitch from starter Josh Lindblom.
With two outs in the fourth, the Green and White battled back to score a run in the third consecutive inning. Friedland and Boike smashed back-to-back doubles down the right-field line to put MSU up, 3-1.
The Boilermakers cut the lead to 3-2 on Spencer Ingaldsonâ€™s RBI double in the fifth, but thatâ€™s all the scoring Purdue would get on the day.
Purdue threatened in the eighth with runners on first and second and two outs for reliever A.J. Dunn. Dunn halted the scoring chance by getting John Cummins to strike out looking.
Mike Monterey came on for the Spartans in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
Lindblom (2-4) lasted 6.2 innings, scattering 10 hits and giving up three runs, two earned, with three strikeouts.
Friedland, Jones and Steve Gerstenberger each collected two hits for MSU.
Props to Ben Phlegar, MSU SID.