May 26, 2012
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Around the Tournaments: Saturday recaps
Indiana outlasts MSU, will face
Purdue for Big Ten title
By Phil Stanton
Ohio – It was another thrilling game in this year’s Big Ten
Michael Basil had a RBI single in the top of the
11th as second-seeded Indiana edged fifth-seeded Michigan State
4-3 in the Big Ten Tournament at Huntington Park.
The Hoosiers (32-27) will need to beat top-seeded
Purdue tonight and again Sunday afternoon to claim the Big Ten
title. The Spartans fall to 37-21 and will have to wait until
Monday to see if they earn an NCAA at-large bid.
Both teams scored two in the second and were
blanked over the next six frames. Some might have been lulled to
sleep before the late-game excitement.
Dustin DeMuth had a two-out double to left in the
top of the ninth for IU, marking the end of the day for MSU
starting pitcher Mick VanVossen (8.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2
K). Bryce Jenney took over on the mound and Will Nolden ripped a
single to right, plating DeMuth with the go-ahead run.
The bottom of the ninth was a blast to watch,
trying to think along with both coaches on what they would do.
Justin Scanlon lined a ball to right to start the
frame for the Spartans and just beat the tag at second. Jordan
Keur reached on an error by the third baseman to give MSU two on
and no outs. That was the end of an outstanding day for IU
starter Chad Martin (8 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K).
Jonny Hoffman took over on the mound for the
Hoosiers. Torsten Boss laid down a bunt to Hoffman and the throw
got away at first, allowing Scanlon to score the tying run and
moving Keur to third. Hoffman got a strikeout and intentionally
walked John Martinez to load the bases with one out.
UI skipper Tracy Smith brought Chad Clark in off
the bench as a fifth infielder, using just two outfielders.
Jimmy Pickens ripped a shot back at the feet of Hoffman, who
threw home for the force out. Catcher Kyle Schwarber thought
about firing to first to try to get the inning-ending double
play, but held on to the ball.
Smith pulled Clark and replaced him with
pitcher/outfielder Joey DeNato, who went to left. As coaches
say, the ball will find you. Joel Fisher lined a ball to left
toward the line. The lefty DeNato dove and made the catch near
the line to extend the game.
The Hoosiers got a two-out single by Travis in
the top of the 10th, but he was gunned down trying to steal
Cheky coaxed a walk to start the bottom of the
frame for the Spartans and was sacrificed to second. Halstead
came in and got a pair of groundouts to end the threat.
In the 11th, Micah Johnson drew a leadoff walk
for the Hoosiers, was sacrificed to second and came in as
Michael Basil hit a tough-hop single past the shortstop to give
IU a 4-3 advantage.
Halstead retired the Spartans in order in the
bottom of the 11th to secure the win.
IU started the scoring in the top of the second.
Johnson lined a leadoff double to right center and moved to
third on a single to right by Dillon Dooney. The throw to the
plate got away from the catcher and Johnson was caught between
third and home. An errant throw to third allowed Johnson to
score the game’s first run and put Dooney on third. With two
away, Nolden delivered a RBI single to center to give the
Hoosiers a 2-0 lead.
MSU answered in the bottom of the second. Boss
drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double by Martinez.
Krill had a sacrifice fly and Fisher had a two-out RBI single to
tie it at 2.
Michigan State finished with five hits.