Not Even Mother Nature Can Stop IU Sweep Over MSU
May 15, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University baseball team completed a weekend sweep of the conference-leading Michigan State Spartans on Sunday. Day three began with the conclusion of a suspended game two and ended with a 7-4 Hoosier victory in the series finale.
Despite the winless weekend, MSU remains atop the Big Ten standings at 13-8 (31-18 overall). Indiana (30-21, 11-10), meanwhile, has risen into a three-team tie for fourth place and within one game of a Big Ten Tournament bye. The complete conference standings are listed below.
In game three, the Spartans jumped out to a two-run lead in the second inning, taking advantage of a walk and wild pitch.
The MSU lead was short-lived though as Indiana posted a four-spot in the home half of the second. It all came with two outs, beginning with a two-strike RBI-single by Justin Cureton, scoring Wes Wilson who had reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. Dustin DeMuth extended the two-out rally in the next at-bat, slapping an opposite-field single to even the score at 2-2. Following a four-pitch walk for T.C. Knipp, Micah Johnson piled on two more tallies with his single into right field.
Cureton and DeMuth stirred up another run in the fourth frame, each recording base knocks. Aggressive base running by Cureton on DeMuth's single paid off. Cureton sprinted from first to third on the play and was rewarded moments later when a double play still scored him from third base.
Michigan State battled back in the next half inning, striking three hits en route to a pair of runs to creep up within one run at 5-4. The Hoosiers would match in the bottom half, scoring two runs which were more than 90 minutes apart. A 92-minute rain delay halted action with one out in the inning. A DeMuth RBI came before the break in action and Knipp delivered a sac fly afterwards to push the Cream and Crimson ahead by the eventual final score of 7-4.
Relief pitcher Jonny Hoffman carried IU the rest of the way, working the final 4.2 innings and picking up the 'W.'
The Oceanside, Calif., native surrendered just one run on three hits, no walks while striking out five Spartans.
SERIES NOTES & NUGGETS
- IU hit .336 as a team with seven players hitting .300 , four at .400 and two batting above a .500 clip
- IU entered in a tie for sixth-place and leaves tied for fourth, one game out of a first round bye and two games back from MSU for the regular season title
- Cureton (.538) and DeMuth (.500) each tallied seven hits
- Johnson slugged .800, fueled by a homerun and two triples
- Hoffman allowed a lone run in 5.2 innings of relief work
- Game two was the eighth extra inning game of the season; IU is 6-2 in such contests and 3-0 in games lasting 13 innings or more
- IU bombed five homeruns, compared to zero dingers for MSU
UPDATED BIG TEN STANDINGS AFTER THE WEEKEND
Three games remain in the regular season; top six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament:
Michigan State (13-8)
Ohio State (11-10)
Penn State (10-11)
Indiana's home finale and last non-conference contest pits the Hoosiers against Louisville on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m.