May 24, 2012
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Indiana rallies, holds on to
beat Michigan State
By Phil Stanton
Ohio – It was a thriller to win, a heart-breaker to lose.
Second-seeded Indiana scored four in the bottom
of the eighth to take a two-run lead and fifth-seeded Michigan
State left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth as IU
claimed a 6-4 win in the Big Ten Tournament at Huntington Park.
The Hoosiers (31-27) will play in the finals of
the winners’ bracket on Friday at 7 p.m., while the Spartans
(36-20) will play an elimination game on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
“These types of games show you baseball is a
crazy game and it’s never over till it’s over,” said IU head
coach Tracy Smith (pictured above). “Their starting pitcher did
a good job of shutting us down. We felt like we were getting
good swings just making a lot of hard outs and hopefully we
would start finding some green space. In the eighth inning, that
kind of turned around.”
MSU held a 4-2 lead heading to the bottom of the
eighth with IU having the top of the order coming up. Justin
Cureton led off with a double to left center and moved to third
on a flyout by Kyle Schwarber. Sam Travis followed with a base
hit to score Cureton and make it a one-run game at 4-3.
MSU starter Andrew Waszak exited and was replaced
by Jeff Kinley. Micah Johnson singled to left to put the
go-ahead run on base. Following a strikeout, Michael Basil
stepped in with two on and two out. A 2-2 pitch was close, but
called a ball. Basil ripped the next pitch into right center for
a two-run double, giving the Hoosiers their first lead at 5-4.
Basil scored on a base hit by Dustin DeMuth to make it 6-4.
The Spartans did not go quietly. A walk and a
pair of singles loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the
ninth. But a flyout to shallow center, a strikeout and a
comebacker to the mound left them loaded as the game ended.
MSU took the early lead in the second as Blaise
Salter belted a two-run homer and Joel Fisher followed with a
solo shot to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead. The Hoosiers scored
two in the fourth before MSU added one in the fifth.
(photo courtesy of IU Media Relations Office)