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This game is on the Big Ten Network, for those who want to watch live. I'll be posting some live updates here from my couch.
Also, the VIP Room is nearly done. Forgive me, today has been rough. Wrecked my bike yesterday and am rather laid up.
Anyway, stay tuned.
Zach Osterman // IU Athletics beat reporter // Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZachOsterman
Oh my. Joey DeNato gets out No. 3 on a beautiful pickoff move in the top of the first.
Michigan State strikes with back-to-back home runs. The first was a hanging cut fastball rocketed to left and the second, from Joel Fisher, was a towering shot. The first was a two-run homer, so it's 3-0 Michigan State, still top second.
Now DeNato in further trouble. His third walk follows an infield single, and there are runners at first and second. Still the top of the second, and all of this has come with two outs.
DeNato's struggles continue.
Dillon Dooney reached first on a error with one out, but Michael Basil flew out to center and Dustin DeMuth bounced into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Hoosiers and Spartans trade easiness in the third. Indiana has no hits through three.
DeNato has his curveball working real nice right now. He's set down seven in a row since second-inning struggles. Still 3-0 Spartans.
Well Schwarber and Travis start the bottom of the fourth with a single and a double, respectively, and then Micah Johnson singles home Schwarber. 3-1 Michigan State.
Indiana gets another across with a sac fly from Basil, but Micah Johnson — after nearly being picked off a couple times — finally does get nailed at first. End of four, but Indiana is now down just 3-2.
DeNato in some trouble now in the fifth, with one out and runners at first and second ...
As soon as I praise the curve, DeNato bounces one, letting a runner move from second to third, and he scores on the following out, a sac fly to center.
He escapes further damage, but it's 4-2 Michigan State after 4 1/2.
Indiana got runners to first and third with two outs, and Kyle Schwarber took one all the way to the warning track in right before it was caught. Hoosiers narrowly miss taking a 5-4 lead. Still 4-2 after five innings.
DeNato picks off another in the sixth and strikes out Joel Fisher swinging to end the top half of the inning. He's been pretty strong today, outside of a few bad pitches. It's a marked departure from his struggles in his last couple starts.
4-2 Michigan State after 5 1/2.
Not good, that, from Indiana. After Micah Johnson singled and Dillon Dooney was hit by a pitch, Michael Basil grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. This team's aggression at the plate is a blessing or a curse. There doesn't seem to be a lot of in-between.
4-2 Michigan State after six. DeNato nudged past 100 pitches last inning, by the way.
Indiana has only forced 66 pitches out of Michigan State starter Andrew Waszak. Again, the aggression either works or it doesn't.
DeNato goes 7 2/3, but he walks his fifth batter and then hits a batter to put runners on first and second with two outs. Jonny Hoffman headed in from the 'pen.
Hoffman gets a simple grounder right back to him after two pitches. Inning over.
Also, a bit of an oddity: Indiana had its right and left fielders switch when Hoffman came in. Not sure I've ever seen that before.
Either way, Indiana needs three runs in six outs, or it hits the losers' bracket tomorrow.
Cureton leads off the eighth with a double. Indiana hasn't started a lot of innings well today, but now they've got Schwarber and Travis coming up and a runner in scoring position.
This post was edited by Zach Osterman on 5/24/2012 at 4:51 PM
Schwarber moves Cureton to third on a sac fly to deep center. He's about 12 combined feet short of two home runs today.
Travis lines a single to left and Cureton comes home. 4-3 Michigan State.
Micah Johnson singles to left, and Dooney strikes out. Indiana might not get a better chance than this one. Runners on first and second, down 4-3, Michael Basil at the plate with two outs.
Indiana has the lead. Basil lays off a 2-2 pitch that lands just low, and he takes the 3-2 offering to right center for a two-run double.
5-4 Indiana, bottom eight.
And Basil scores. DeMuth slapped one to deep short, and it skipped off Scanlon's glove into left field. DeMuth oved to second on the throw home.
Will Nolden grounds out to short, but a three-run eighth gives Indiana a 6-4 lead. Were four outs from a loss, now just three outs from a win.
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