ALBANY, N.Y. - A year ago at this time, Joe Markusen was sitting on the edge of his couch, cheering as North Dakota claimed its seventh national hockey championship. A native of Grafton, N.D., a small town that adores the Fighting Sioux hockey team, he graduated from Park River High and naturally became a fan of the school down the road in Grand Forks, N.D. Theres no professional league in North Dakota, so college hockey is pretty big, said Markusen, a 6-foot, 186-pound freshman defenseman.
To say the MSU football team had a rough time on the offensive side of the ball last year would be like saying the stork in those Warner Brothers cartoons had a little too much to drink when it delivered babies.
MINNEAPOLIS - For all 65 Division I college mens basketball teams that were eligible for NCAA Tournament play, this years road to the Final Four was at times a long bumpy trip because of the intense scheduling involved with March Madness. And local Minneapolis event coordinators, national media, Metrodome employees and more than 2,000 volunteers who helped set up this years nationally acclaimed event can share their pain. Its definitely a tough task to set up a Final Four, said Marc Ryan, the University of Minnesotas assistant athletic director for external relations. Our biggest challenge was to put all the right people together, ranging from technicians, maintenance workers, support staff and merchants, to community groups and local businesses.
Head baseball coach Ted Mahan saw a reflection of the teams entire season Tuesday at Kobs Field.The Spartans (13-12) split a doubleheader with Saginaw Valley State, losing the first game 9-2 and rallying to win the second 4-1.One good; one bad - 13-12 - thats what weve done all year, Mahan said.The good showcased a Spartan team putting runs on the board, making plays defensively, and pitching well.After four shutout innings from freshman starter Bryan Gale, he yielded one run in the top of fifth.Mahan said Gales performance on the hill was nothing new from the rookie hurler.It was outstanding, Mahan said, He can just flat out pitch.With the win, Gale upped his record to 3-0 and maintained a team-leading 1.61 ERA.Facing the 1-0 deficit, freshman left fielder James Moreno led off the bottom half of the fifth frame with a homer to deep left-center field, evening-up the score.After a ground ball out by freshman first baseman Scott Koerber, junior third baseman Troy Bergman, junior second baseman Don Watchowski, sophomore right fielder Brett Wattles, junior shortstop Jared Koutnik and sophomore center fielder Bob Malek all consecutively singled.Wattles single scored Bergman, and Maleks brought home Watchowski.Sophomore catcher Brady Burrills sacrifice fly and tag-up from Wattles gave the Spartans more insurance than they needed.The fifth inning Spartan rally keyed around Morenos solo shot.The second game Moreno picked us with a home run, and we had some enthusiasm, Malek said.The home run by Moreno was the biggest hit of the game and of the day, Mahan said.Moreno realized his home run helped spark a sputtering Spartan offense.After one hit, if everyones picking each other up, it can lead to six or seven more hits, he said.Then you win the game, and in the second game it was huge.Moreno had only appeared at the plate 21 times this season, and responded to the chance to play.I was given a shot today, and I just got in there and took my hacks, Moreno said.
The basketball team wasnt the only MSU sports team that had a rough time this past weekend. The MSU baseball team, which was on a four-game winning streak entering its three-game series against Purdue last weekend, now finds itself on a losing streak after dropping all three games played with the Boilermakers.
MINNEAPOLIS - Its Duke against Arizona, East against West and to the winner go the spoils. Another season of college basketball has come down to just one game, and the 2001 NCAA Champions will be crowned tonight. We feel honored to be their opponent, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Without MSU competing this evening for the NCAA title, Spartan fans and I need to decide which team to cheer for.Tonights championship game will feature two teams most Spartan fans are not so fond of.First, there is the Arizona Wildcats, who ran over the Spartans 80-61 Saturday.
Going up against defending national champion North Dakota in the Frozen Four this week, one might think MSU head coach Ron Mason would be poring over any tape of the Fighting Sioux he could get his hands on. But thats not the case. If you start too soon on the other team, youll forget about them by the time you get there, Mason said.
YPSILANTI - The Spartan baseball team glided to two easy wins over the Eastern Michigan Eagles Wednesday at Oestrike Stadium. MSU, now 12-8, forced Easterns season record to 4-17. The Spartans shot out to a comfortable lead during the first game of the doubleheader, working their way to a score of 7-2 going into the seventh inning. Then at the top of the seventh MSU drove home the victory when they doubled their score to 14-2, while the Eagles went through five pitchers with no success. An early lead in game two put the Spartans up 3-1 in the first inning.
Five recruits have signed letters of intent to join the Spartan field hockey team next fall.Jaqueline Ahinga, Christina Kirkaldy, Kelly Collier, Katie Minns and Michelle Carstens will start their collegiate careers suiting up for the Spartans.Ahinga and Collier will bolster the teams backfield and have a chance to contribute defensively.Head coach Michele Madison said she expects the freshman defenders to have an immediate impact.We look for the freshman to help us defensively from the start, she said.Kelly has a great attitude and desire to play for the Spartans.
Today was supposed to be the home opener for the MSU baseball team, but instead the Spartans will have to wait a couple more days to get a taste of some home cooking.