LANSING, Mich. - Sophomore Chris Roberts had a pair of RBI singles and junior Eric Roof hit a three-run homer to lead the Michigan State baseball team to an 8-6 win over Western Michigan Wednesday evening at Oldsmobile Park. Eric Roof finished the day with four RBI and junior A.J. Dunn got credit for the win. The Spartans have won nine of their last 11 games.
Freshmen Jonathan Roof and Jeff Holm each added two hits for the Spartans. Dunn (2-2) worked two innings of relief for sophomore starter Kyle Corcoran, who threw three shutout innings. Six MSU pitchers took the mound on the night.
Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Michigan State scored four runs to take control of the contest. Roberts collected his second RBI single of the night, scoring senior Steve Gerstenberger. Two batters later, Eric Roof lifted a 1-1 pitch from WMU pitcher Ross Westdorp over the right field fence to give MSU a 6-1 lead.
Western Michigan would score a pair of runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but would never get closer than two runs.
"We got some great clutch hitting from Eric Roof," MSU head coach David Grewe said. "He had two great two-out hits. It was his spot in the order to deliver, and he got the hits."
The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Roberts smacked an RBI single to center, scoring Gerstenberger. The Spartans added another run in the second inning on an RBI groundout by senior Brandon Doherty.
The Broncos' Pedro Dager doubled and scored in the top of the fourth to pull WMU within 2-1.
After MSU's four-run fifth inning, Western Michigan pulled to within 6-3 on a Dager sac fly and an RBI fielder's choice by Kevan Hess. Eric Roof drove in his brother, Jonathan, with a single to left to make it 7-3. After the Broncos pulled to within 7-5, freshman Seth Williams singled home senior pinch runner Tony Clausen.
Western Michigan would pick up a run in the ninth to provide the final margin. Four Broncos - Dager, Zach Gentile, Matt Abro and Joe Sheets - each had two hits. Westdorp pitched five innings - allowing five earned runs on seven hits - to fall to 3-4.
The Spartans, who are just one game out of fourth place in the Big Ten standings, travel to Purdue for a four-game series this weekend. Game one of the series is set for Friday, May 9 at 4 p.m.