In a weekend series that featured a little bit of everything, the Indiana University baseball team got exactly what it needed, a series sweep of Big Ten leader Michigan State. 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.
In Sunday’s regularly scheduled game, the Spartans jumped out in front but the Hoosiers battled back. 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 rallied 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 win.
In the suspended contest, the Hoosiers outslugged the Spartans 13-12, over Michigan State in 15 innings. The official game duration was four hours and 46 minutes, but lasted nearly 24 hours in real time spanning two different days. Saturday’s game was suspended due to darkness after 12 innings. Play resumed on Sunday. Dramatic lead changes, game-saving defensive plays highlighted the conference affair.
Indiana’s home finale at Sembower Field and last non-conference contest pits the Hoosiers against Louisville on Tuesday at 3:05 pm.