IU, MSU Split on Saturday
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana baseball team earned a second-day split against Michigan State on Saturday at Sembower Field. After falling, 6-1, in the first contest, the Hoosiers (22-8, 7-4 Big Ten) bounced back in game two, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-5 victory. Indiana will take a 2-1 lead into Sunday's series finale against the Spartans.
"We feel good about the split today even though we didn't play as well as we should have.," head coach Bob Morgan. "In the first game, we got behind 4-0 and it took the wind out of our sails. If we kept them to 2-0 we would have had a better chance. But (Michigan State) played well and was able to take the first game from us. The second game was a great come from behind win. We were one out, actually only one strike away from extra innings and we were able to get the win. That is the advantage of being the home team and having last at bats."
Indiana took a 1-0 lead on third baseman Vasili Spanos' home run to over the fence in left-center to start the second inning. Michigan State posted three runs in the top of the third. The Spartans collected a hit, capitalized on two Hoosier errors, a walk and a hit by pitch to take the lead.
The Hoosiers tied the game at three as Spanos blasted his second homer of the game and his sixth of the season out of the park in right. Leftfielder Mark Calkins, who had walked to get on, scored ahead of Spanos.
Michigan State regained the lead in the top of the fifth by scoring a single run. With one out, Travis Gulick singled to the shortstop. Gulick moved to second on Brady Burrill's single to left. David Miller banged a double to left-center to score Gulick and make the score, 4-3 Spartans.
IU knotted the game at four in the bottom of the sixth. Calkins drove a base hit up the middle and second baseman Corby Heckman singled to left field to place runners on first and second. Designated hitter Nick Evans collected the Hoosiers' third straight base hit with a single to right, scoring Calkins.
The Spartans battled back once again and took control in the top of the seventh. Charlie Braun led off with a double to down the left field line. After relief pitcher Chris Hynes struck out Gulick looking, catcher Brady Burrill scored Braun with a single up the middle. After another hit from third baseman James Moreno, and a ground out for No. 2, senior closer Ryan Smith entered the game. Smith got a fly out to right field and stranded runners on second and third.
In the bottom of the seventh, Indiana made a winner out of Smith. The Spartans' Ryan Golem enter to pitch in attempt to close the game and get the save. Golem retired the first two Hoosier batters. Calkins drew a walk and Spanos smacked a hit to third base. Heckman pounded a hit to left field and advanced to second on an error by as the MSU leftfielder unsuccessfully attempted to throw Calkins out at home. Calkins scored to knot the score at five runs a piece. Michigan State then intentionally walked Brad DeStefano to load the bases. First baseman Kevin Mahar stepped to the plate and dropped a hit into shallow right field, sending Spanos home for the victory.
Smith improved to 4-1 with the win. Freshman Josh Lewis started on the mound for IU. Lewis allowed just one hit and three unearned runs in 2.2 innings of work. He gave up four walks and had one strikeout. Hynes worked the next four innings for the Hoosiers. He scattered seven hits and allowed to runs while striking out one and not walking a batter.
For Michigan State, starter Tim Day pitched the first six innings. He scattered six Hoosier hits and allowed four runs while walking three and fanning seven batters. Golem took the loss, slipping to 2-1 on the season.
In the first game, Michigan State's bats were hot as the Spartans jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first. They collected five hits, four singles and a double, for the early advantage. Indiana scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the frame. Shortstop Seth Bynum drew a walk and scored on Spanos' double to the wall in center field. Spanos finished the day 4-for-7 at the plate with four RBI and three runs scored.
The Spartans added a pair of insurance runs in the fourth and held the Hoosiers at bay the rest of the game.
Bryan Gale got the complete-game win and evened his record at 4-4. Gale allowed Indiana six hits and three walks, while recording three strikeouts.
Starter Adam Pegg took the loss for IU, falling to 2-3 on the season. Pegg gave up six hits and all six runs. He walked one and struck out three. Redshirt freshman Austin Rhoads took over in relief, working the final four innings and surrendering just three hits.
Indiana and Michigan State (8-20) will meet on Sunday for the series finale. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Sembower Field.
After a 4-2 win in Friday's opener, IU holds a 2-1 lead in the series.
"Tomorrow we need the kids to step up on the mound," Morgan said. "We will come out and play hard and hopefully pull out another victory."
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