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Lansing - Lugnuts manager Ken Joyce compared his team's hitting Thursday night to the power outage that briefly took place after the game - short circuited.
It was another pitching duel for the first five innings at Oldsmobile Park between Lansing and South Bend until the Silver Hawks' bats came to life enough for a 5-1 victory.
The MSU baseball team was between a rock and a hard place for much of the four-game weekend series against Illinois at Kobs Field.
The Spartans were blown out 12-3 in Friday's series opener, then fell both times in Saturday's doubleheader, 9-2 and 6-5.
"We told them that they battled all the way through.
It was a game of season highs for the MSU baseball team, as the Spartans successfully swung the bat for a season-high 26 hits and scored a season-high 20 runs in a 20-9 win over Saginaw Valley State on Tuesday at Kobs Field.
"I think we're confident now," MSU head coach Ted Mahan said.
The MSU baseball team dropped its second game in a row Wednesday against Wayne State in its home opener at Kobs Field.
Wayne State led early 2-0 and never looked back to pull off the 9-4 win.
With the conference season opener coming up Friday at Iowa, MSU manager Ted Mahan isn't happy with his team's efforts.
Starting freshman pitcher Mark Sorenson gave up four runs on five hits in three innings.
The MSU baseball team lost to No. 6 Florida, 13-2, on Saturday at McKethan Stadium. The Gators used an 11-run rally over the final three innings to defeat the Spartans.
Ben Dunn is thankful the Boston Red Sox shared.
Dunn, who was an intern on the grounds crew at Boston's Fenway Park last summer, received a nice chunk of change after the team won the World Series championship last fall.
Although Dunn, a 26-year-old sophomore in the two-year Sports and Commercial Turf Management program at MSU, wouldn't let on to how much money he received from the team, he did reveal that they "treated (me) well."
In Major League Baseball, the teams that make the playoffs receive part of the money brought in from ticket receipts.
The Lansing Lugnuts officially ended their six-year relationship with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, announcing a new affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the new two-year agreement, the Lugnuts will be the Blue Jays' Class A minor league affiliate in the Midwest League effective for the 2005 season.
Rumors about the switch have been circulating for about a week but Lugnuts officials declined to confirm them until Tuesday.
As many record-breaking home runs that Lansing Lugnuts first baseman Brian Dopirak has hit this season, it's his first home run that will always stand out in his memory.
That first home run at 12 years old was what made Brian Dopirak decide that a Major League Baseball career would be in his plans.
"When we had to do little career things in school, I always put down baseball player," Dopirak said.
Lansing Lunguts catcher Jake Fox almost winces when he talks about the first time that he caught one of Clay Rapada's pitches in practice.
Fox has caught many pitchers in his two years with the Chicago Cubs organization, but he said the first one from Rapada will forever remain ingrained in his memory.
"It was just a little slider, but when I went down to block it, the ball moved and hit me in the chest," Fox said.
"He's got that trajectory that moves the ball all over the place and makes him so tough to catch, but it's also what makes him so good."
Rapada, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound relief pitcher, has become well-known around the league for his tough pitches.
Lansing - Wearing his usual white Lugnuts cap and a faded gray baseball T-shirt Dexter Olsen takes his seat in Oldsmobile Park more than 30 minutes before game time, just as he has done for almost every game since 1996.
Olsen, a retired autoworker, has only missed about 10 home games of his beloved Lugnuts in the ballpark named after one of the divisions of General Motors Corp.
It's 1:30 p.m. on a sunny Monday afternoon, more than five hours before game time, and Lansing left fielder Kevin Collins is already down in the batting cage, working on his swing.
The Lugnuts slugger was recently named the starter and designated hitter for today's Midwest League All-Star Game, a long way from last season when his number of strikeouts almost doubled his number of hits.
"Last year was a long year for me," Collins said.
MSU juniors, right fielder Travis Gulick and catcher Erik Morris were selected in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft, Tuesday.
The draft spans over two days and 50 rounds.
For Gulick, the two days of sitting in front of his computer listening to the 2004 MLB draft online seemed endless until his name was finally called Tuesday afternoon.
Gulick was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft, the 686th pick overall.
"It's been a long process," Gulick said.
The MSU baseball team exceeded most peoples expectations this season, but was unable to meet its own goals of winning a Big Ten title.
The Spartans fell short in both the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament.
Chicago - Mark Prior will return back to the major league, making his first start with the Chicago Cubs on Friday after spending the first two months of the season on the disabled list.
Prior, who has been sidelined with an inflamed right Achilles' tendon and sore right elbow, was impressive in his third rehab start Sunday when he allowed three hits and two runs while striking out 10 in 5 1-3 innings for Triple-A Iowa.
Prior pitched the first two games of his rehab tour with the Lansing Lugnuts and defied conservative estimates - pitching an extra inning in his second game to help the 'Nuts turn the tables on the West Michigan Whitecaps to win 7-6.
During both games with the 'Nuts, Prior allowed just one hit and one walk, and threw 13 strikeouts in a combined 7 1/3 innings.
Now, he's ready to return to the Cubs and will face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday at Wrigley Field.
Lansing- A 10:35 a.m. start time is difficult for any baseball player, but an early game following a 3 1/2 hour, 11-inning game the night before would cause any team to get off to a sluggish start.
That's exactly what happened Wednesday morning as the Lansing Lugnuts struggled to find any hits for the first four innings, before the Lugnuts rediscovered their bats to pull out a 3-1 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps.
"It's a little hard to get up in the morning and it took a few innings for us to wake up," Lansing left fielder Kevin Collins said.
Neither team came close to scoring early.
As MSU junior pitcher Jon Kowalski tagged first base for the final out to secure the Spartans' 8-7 victory over Northwestern, his teammates erupted into celebration.
The victory over Northwestern Sunday ensured the Spartans the No.
For the first time in 25 years, the MSU baseball team has a chance at a Big Ten title.
The Spartans (30-22, 17-11 Big Ten) face Northwestern this weekend at Kobs field in the final four-game series of the Big Ten season.
MSU is third in the Big Ten race, two games behind conference-leading Minnesota and one game behind Ohio State.
The MSU baseball team kept its hopes alive for a Big Ten title by winning its weekend series at Penn State after a 7-4 victory Sunday afternoon.
Lansing - The Spartans said they wanted a tune-up for their series against Michigan this weekend.
Eastern Michigan provided it.
The MSU baseball team (21-18 overall) used a seven-run third inning and a handful of pitchers to defeat the Eagles 12-8 Wednesday night in front of more than 2,100 fans at Oldsmobile Park.
"We're swinging the bats well," said MSU manager Ted Mahan, whose team tallied 14 hits and scored 12 runs for the second-straight game.
The MSU baseball team faces Eastern Michigan tonight at Oldsmobile Park, home of the Lansing Lugnuts.
Each year, MSU plays a couple of contests at the stadium, so does playing at Oldsmobile Park ever lose its luster?
"No, not at all," MSU manager Ted Mahan said.