By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
February 28, 2010
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The West Virginia University baseball team endured a rough start and never recovered as it lost to Michigan State, 17-5, on Sunday afternoon at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg, Fla.
For the second straight contest, WVU was put into an early hole. Michigan State bombarded the Mountaineers with five runs on five hits in the first inning, as shortstop Jonathan Roof started the Spartans off with an RBI single to centerfield, followed by a sacrifice fly from Jeff Holm to make it 2-0. Later in the frame, Torsten Boss’ two-run single through the left side gave Michigan State the early five-run lead.
MSU added another run in the second inning when Roof doubled down the right field line to bring in Brandon Eckerle, creating a 6-0 advantage.
The Spartans scored six runs on six hits in the third inning to generate an insurmountable lead at 12-0. MSU started the inning with five consecutive singles, including three that brought in runs, and was capped by another run-scoring single up the middle from Andrew Carpenter.
MSU starter Kurt Wunderlich (2-0) had a smooth outing, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out six. WVU scored five runs in the eighth inning off reliever Kyle Corcoran, highlighted by a two-run triple by Justin McDavid and run-scoring singles from Kevin Griffin and Michael Knight.
WVU tied its season-high once again with nine base hits, with five of them coming in the eighth inning.
Right fielder Dom Hayes had a productive day at the plate for WVU, going 3-for-5 for his second consecutive multi-hit performance. The Freehold, N.J., native is atop the team with a .438 batting average (7-for-16) with four runs scored. Freshman Matt Malloy also recorded his second straight two-hit game, going 2-for-3.
WVU left-handed starter Chase Pickering (0-1) took the loss after lasting three innings.
The Mountaineers finish their stay at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge on Monday afternoon when they battle Purdue at Jack Russell Stadium in St. Petersburg. First pitch is set for noon.