EAST LANSING, Mich. - Penn State used quality pitching and timely hitting to defeat the Michigan State baseball team, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at Kobs Field. MSU falls to 14-11, 5-3 in the Big Ten, while Penn State improves to 10-17, 3-4 in the conference. The series resumes with a doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Senior ace Craig Brookes pitched his sixth quality start of the season (at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs), but the Spartan offense could only muster one run on seven hits. Brookes (3-2) scattered 11 hits in 7.0 innings on the mound, compiling five strikeouts and just one walk while giving up three runs.
Brookes' counterpart, Seth Whitehill, was equally as effective. After Penn State scored its first run in the fourth on a two-out, RBI single by Mike Deese, MSU got its first hit of the game off Whitehill in the bottom of the inning as Steve Gerstenberger hit a double to right field. The next batter, Kyle Day, drilled a single to left, tying the game at 1.
Brookes was the beneficiary of a brilliant double play by the Spartan defense in the fifth, but in the sixth, the Nittany Lions struck once again with two outs. Deese started the rally with a double to left-center and scored on a Rick Marlin run-scoring single to right field. Penn State tacked on another run in the seventh as Joe Blackburn - who went 3-for-5 - hit an RBI single to right, driving home Matt Cavagnaro.
Whitehill (3-4), who struck out four and scattered five hits on one run, left the game in the sixth. The Penn State bullpen took it from there, only allowing two hits the remaining 3.1 innings to seal the victory.
MSU did make things interesting in the ninth with back-to-back singles by Justin Potes and Chris Roberts, but Eric Roof hit into a 5-3 double play to end the game and the rally.
Day and Potes each collected two hits for the Spartans