Third Straight Walk-Off Stings #12 Hoosiers
April 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Indiana Baseball's gut-punched weekend continued on Sunday, concluding with Michigan State's third consecutive walk-off win in the series. It took a total of 30 innings for the Spartans (21-11, 5-4 Big Ten) to hand #12 Indiana (26-7, 8-4) a trifecta of one-run defeats.
The Hoosiers stormed back in Game Three, plating a pair of runs in each the eighth and ninth innings, erasing a four-run deficit and evening the score at 5-5 in the middle of the ninth. Michigan State had an instant counter in the home half, however, stealing another walk-off victory.
Defensive deficiencies were a thorn in the Hoosiers side once again, leading to three unearned runs coming across for Michigan State. Starter Aaron Slegers chewed up seven innings, allowed just two earned tallies before giving way to the bullpen.
Senior shortstop Michael Basil reached base on four of his five plate appearances, including a game-tying, two-run double with two outs in the top of the ninth. Facing a full count and Indiana down to its last out, Basil sent a pitch opposite field down the line landing a few feet in front of the wall to push in runners who were stationed on the corners. Fellow senior Trace Knoblauch was on his horse circling around to score all the way from first base, representing the tying fifth run.
Basil first reached base successfully when he was plunked in the second stanza, his first of three bean balls on the day. The Hoosiers executed some `small ball' to plate Basil, utilizing a sacrifice bunt and sac fly to advance him the final two stations. Michigan State then posted the next five runs of the game to set the stage for Indiana's late-inning rally.
It started in the eighth with a lead-off walk for Scott Donley. Dustin DeMuth and Casey Smith followed with hits to score Donley. Nicks Ramos trimmed it a two-run deficit, connecting on a sac fly later in the frame.
The comeback's Second Act came with two outs in the ninth inning and no runners aboard. Sam Travis' single got it started and Basil's two-bagger capped it off. Ultimately, the rally came up one run short though as MSU seized the win in the bottom of the ninth.
The Cream and Crimson return to action on Wednesday (April 17) for a road contest at Ball State.
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