EVANSTON, Ill. - Junior Kyle Day hit two home runs and redshirt junior Mark Sorensen threw a two-hit complete game with eight strikeouts to lead the Michigan State baseball team to a 6-1 win in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at Northwestern. The Wildcats rallied for a 3-2 win in the second game to force the split. Day had three hits between the two games and freshman Jonathan Roof had three RBI. Michigan State has won four of its last five contests.
"We got great performances from so many guys and we had an unbelievable pitching performance by Mark Sorensen," head coach David Grewe said. "It was a gutsy performance and I'm proud of the way he pitched out there. We battled in both games, we just came up short. It's tough to sweep doubleheaders in the Big Ten and Northwestern played really well.
"We have one more hard-fought game tomorrow to win the series. We need to finish off the series like I know we can."
In game one, Sorensen cruised through most of his seven innings. After allowing an earned run on a Chad Noble RBI groundout in the second inning, Sorensen retired 15 consecutive batters before NU's Nate Roberts doubled in the bottom of the seventh. For the game, Sorensen (1-3) held the Wildcats to two hits, allowing just four baserunners. He struck out eight and walked one.
Potes gave MSU a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a solo blast to left. The Roof brothers connected on MSU's second run of the inning, with Jonathan singling to score Eric from second to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Potes' homer was his second in as many games and third of the season.
MSU extended the lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth. After Day's first homer, Eric Roof and senior Brandon Doherty each smacked an RBI single.
Day provided the final 6-1 margin with a towering blast to right in the seventh inning, his fourth home run of the season.
In the second game, both starting pitchers gave a strong effort. Senior Chris Cullen held the Wildcats to a pair of runs over 4.2 innings and Northwestern's Bo Schultz scattered five hits over six innings .
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Northwestern's Tony Vercelli scored on a single by Noble to give the Wildcats the lead. MSU went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Leading 1-0 early, NU took a 2-0 lead off Cullen in the bottom of the fourth when Tommy Finn bunted for a single with the bases loaded. The damage could have been worse, but senior Evan Friedland made a strong throw home to force what would have been another run for the Wildcats. Cullen fanned Aaron Newman to get out of the jam. MSU pulled to within 2-1 in the top of the fifth on a Jonathan Roof sac fly that scored freshman Brandon Eckerle. The Spartans would tie the game in the next inning when sophomore Chris Roberts singled and scored.
The four-game series finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The game time was moved up from 2 p.m. due to rain forecasts in the Chicagoland area.