MOBILE, Ala. - Senior left-hander John Dwan pitched six strong innings to lead the Michigan State baseball team to its first victory of the 2007 season, a 4-2 win over Jacksonville, Sunday afternoon at the Coca-Cola Classic.
Jacksonville, which finished 43-19 last season and competed in the NCAA Tournament, was coming off a 14-4 pounding of South Alabama on Saturday. The Dolphin offense was stifled on Sunday, however, led by Dwan's starting effort. He struck out four and scattered three hits, and the only run he allowed was off a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
The Spartans (1-2) struck first in the second inning, going up 1-0 as Chris Roberts drove home Justin Potes on an RBI single. In two games at the Coca-Cola Classic, Roberts was 4-for-7 with two runs and two RBI.
The Dophins (5-7) tied it at 1 on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth, but MSU responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to build a 4-1 lead. With one out, Sean Walker reached base on a throwing error by the Jacksonville shortstop, and a Roberts walk put runners on first and second. A batter later, freshman right fielder Eli Boike collected his first career RBI with a single that plated Walker. Center fielder Dennis Jones followed with a two-run single, scoring Roberts and Boike. Jones finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate.
The four runs were all the MSU pitching staff needed to preserve the victory. Dwan was relieved by Mark Sorensen in the seventh, who struck out two in 1.1 innings of action. Sorensen left the game in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded for Nolan Moody. Moody gave up a sacrifice fly for the second out, and got out of the jam by striking out pinch hitter Thomas LePage looking.
Moody struck out the side in the ninth to earn his first career save.
Michigan State returns to action next Sunday, March 4 to take on Saint Joseph's in Lakeland, Fla.