Illinois completes weekend sweep over Spartan baseball with 10-9 comeback win
An 8-3 lead at the top of the seventh wasn't enough to keep the MSU baseball team (24-20 overall, 8-10 Big Ten) from falling to Illinois 10-9 in the finale of a three-game weekend sweep.
The Fighting Illini (27-27 overall, 13-5 Big Ten) rallied to score three runs at the bottom of the ninth. Redshirt junior left-hander Jeff Kinley pitched the final 2 1/3rd innings and recorded the loss, allowing three runs.
Sophomore left-hander Cam Vieaux, freshman right-hander Jake Lowery and freshman left-hander Joe Mockbee also saw time at the mound, and Vieaux pitched six innings.
The Spartans took a 9-7 lead at the top of the ninth when senior infielder Joel Fisher singled to the right side of the field for his fourth RBI of the afternoon, scoring junior outfielder Jimmy Pickens.
The lead was soon erased. Illinois junior outfielder Will Krug singled and proceeded to reach second when Kinley hit freshman infielder Matthew James with a pitch.
Kinley outed the next two hitters but couldn't finish the job, with junior infielder Reid Roper hitting a single to center field to score Krug.
Junior outfielder Casey Fletcher scored James and Roper on the next at-bat, hitting a single to left-center to complete the comeback win.
Sophomore left-hander Tyler Jay pitched the final 2 2/3rds of the game and was credited with the win.
A four-run inning helped the Spartans take an 8-3 lead at the top of the seventh. A single by junior first baseman Blaise Salter scored sophomore outfielder Cam Gibson for Salter's second RBI of the game.
Junior outfielder Anthony Cheky proceeded to score following a fielding error at third base.
Fisher wrapped up the top of the seventh with a two-run double down the right-field line, scoring Pickens and Salter.
After a four-run seventh inning by the Spartans, Illinois responded with four runs at the bottom of the seventh to cut the Spartan lead to 8-7.
With the bases loaded, Illinois junior infielder David Kerian doubled to right-center, picking up three RBI's. Roper singled to left field on the next at-bat, scoring Kerian.
The Spartans will return to action Tuesday, taking on Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, MI at 3 p.m.