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In addition to his new assistant coaching position, Lopaze also will serve as the main director of Grewe's Top 9 Baseball Camps.
The Fort Wayne Wizards put together a five-run, eighth inning against the Lansing Lugnuts. The batting assault included a double, a triple and two home runs. The Lugnuts could not answer in their final two at-bats, as the Wizards took a 6-1 victory and earned a split in the series.
In addition, MSU had three players from their incoming freshman class who were selected in the draft. Kyle Kaminska (Naperville, Ill.) was picked in the 25th round by the Florida Marlins, Jonathon Roof (Paducah, Ky.) was selected in the 39th round by the Boston Red Sox and Tyler Newsome (Palos Heights, Ill.) was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 49th round.
Snider, a 19-year-old from Mill Creek, Wash., was the Toronto Blue Jays' 2006 first-round draft pick and 14th overall selection. He is in his first year with the Lugnuts after playing last season with the rookie league Pulaski Blue Jays in Pulaski, Va.
The Green and White fell short in that final do-or-die game, an 8-7 loss to Illinois on May 20, finishing with a 15-16 league record and one game out of the tourney field. But it didn't dampen Grewe's spirit - he's confident the Spartans will be contenders in 2008. He relayed that sentiment to his ballplayers, including the now-departed seniors who will be tied to the team's future successes, even if they can't take the field.
Steve Gerstenberger, a junior, was named to the second team as a second baseman. Gerstenberger ended the season on a 12-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he batted .475 and ended the year with a .368 batting average. His 77 hits were fifth-best among Big Ten players.
After dropping the first game 4-3 Thursday, the Lugnuts used strong pitching performances to shut down the Timber Rattlers, a Seattle Mariners Single-A affiliate.
MSU (25-26 overall, 15-16 Big Ten) needed to defeat Illinois or have Penn State defeat Ohio State, neither of which happened.
The series starts Friday and ends Sunday, with a doubleheader sandwiched on Saturday. The Spartans, who missed the Big Ten Tournament last year, have won eight of their last nine and find themselves on the cusp of making the six-team field. MSU is currently in seventh place with a 13-14 conference record. Illinois sits in a fifth-place tie with Ohio State at 14-12.
The Lansing Lugnuts placed second baseman Chris Gutierrez on the 7-day disabled list after the infielder suffered a hamstring injury.
South Bend Silverhawks starter Brett Anderson kept the Lansing offense quiet, leading his team to a 5-3 victory.
The losses dropped the squad to 17-15, as the Lugnuts continue to struggle during the month of May, losing nine of their last 12 outings.
Going into the ninth inning with the game tied at three, freshman outfielder Chris Roberts stepped up to the plate and did just that.
Since a heartbreaking final-inning defeat to Penn State on April 15, the Spartans (15-18 overall, 6-9 Big Ten) have lost seven straight games, including a four-game sweep at the hands of Minnesota last weekend.
At practice Tuesday afternoon, the Spartans (15-18, 6-9 Big Ten) didn't look like a team in the middle of its longest slump of the season. Head coach David Grewe had his players break into teams of four for a hitting tournament, which drew almost continuous laughter as rarely used players got a chance to talk some smack, and pitchers stumbled around the outfield in pursuit of fly balls.
But Jones struck out swinging, and junior first baseman Evan Friedland tapped weakly to first to end the threat, and MSU faded quickly after that, dropping the series finale to the Nittany Lions, 10-4.
He watched silently as his players went through their standard post-game field maintenance routine, their robotic motions carrying all the revelry of a funeral procession.
But it's hard to gauge just how fast he is unless you look at some of his cheetah-like statistics.
Originally scheduled to begin at 3:05 p.m. today at Kobs Field, the first game will now be at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, with a doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. Sunday and the final game at 3:05 p.m. Monday.