Hoosiers Fall in Heartbreaker to Spartans
May 14, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the Indiana baseball team to a heartbreaking 9-8 defeat in the series opener between the two teams at Kobs Field on Friday. Micah Johnson went 3-for-5 and scored a pair of runs in a losing effort for the Hoosiers (24-23, 9-10 Big Ten), while Chris Roberts delivered the game-winning single for the Spartans (31-16, 9-10).
MSU entered the ninth down 8-6, but an error, a walk, a bunt single and a wild pitch to start the inning brought in a run and put the tying run on third base. After a groundout scored the game-tying tally, the Hoosiers elected to walk Jeff Holm intentionally, and Roberts then singled to center field to end the ballgame. The rally dropped closer Chris Squires to 5-2 on the season, as he suffered his first blown save of the year. Kurtis Frymier picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
IU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Josh Lyon in the first, but the Hoosiers ended the inning on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play, one of several occasions that IU was retired on the basepaths. The Hoosiers pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second, as Brian Ritz mashed his third home run of the year, hitting the ball out of the yard to right center.
MSU rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second on five hits. Eli Boike delivered a two-run double for the Spartans, while Brandon Eckerle drove in a run on an infield single to tie the game 3-3. The Hoosiers bounced back, though, plating three runs in the third. Alex Dickerson led off with a single and Michael Earley followed by blistering a double down the left-field line to make it 4-3. Tyler Rogers added an RBI triple and then Ethan Wilson delivered an RBI single to push IU's lead to three runs.
Drew Leininger made quick work of the Spartans in the third and fourth, but in the fifth, Michigan State rallied for a pair of runs. After Ryan Jones reached on an error, Torsten Boss drilled his fifth homer of the season to make it 6-5. The Spartans then tied the score the next inning, as Roberts hit a solo shot that set up a 6-6 score.
A.J. Achter pitched his way out of danger several times over the middle innings, but kept Indiana off the scoreboard until the eighth. Ritz drew a leadoff walk and then Michael Basil delivered a sac bunt to put a runner on second and one out. After a popout, Johnson ripped a double to right center to regain the lead for IU at 7-6. Dickerson later added an RBI single through the left side for his 67th RBI of the season to make it 8-6.
Leininger allowed eight hits and two walks in seven innings of work, picking up a no-decision. Achter scattered 14 hits over his 7 2/3 innings, striking out six and also not figuring in the decision.
The Hoosiers and Spartans will finish up their series on Saturday (noon) and Sunday (1 p.m.) as both games will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Live audio and statistics will also be available at IUHoosiers.com.
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