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Strong start gives Hoosiers edge on MSU baseball in Spartans' losing effort

April 20, 2014

The double from Travis broke a 1-1 tie late in the game, and ultimately served as the winning hit.

The loss on Easter Sunday completes an 0-4 week for the Spartans, including a three-game weekend series sweep at Indiana. MSU falls to 20-17 overall with the losses. The Hoosiers shut out MSU on Friday, winning 7-0, and won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning the following day, 2-1. MSU also lost to Central Michigan on Wednesday.

MSU struggled to find scoring all weekend, putting up just two runs in the three games for the team’s lowest run total in a weekend series this season.

Friday’s scoreless outing for MSU was the beginning of the low-scoring trend for the critical conference series. MSU was held to six hits and failed to get timely hitting with eight runners left on base. Junior starting pitcher Mick VanVossen gave up six runs, four earned, in slightly more than five innings of work to record his second loss of the season.

Saturday proved to be a more exciting matchup, but another disappointing ending for the Spartans as they fell in extra innings. Indiana used a single to centerfield on a 2-1 pitch from junior second baseman Casey Rodriguez to knock off the Spartans in the bottom of the 12th inning. It was the third time MSU went into extra innings this season.

Sophomore starting pitcher Justin Alleman finished with a no decision after a solid eight innings on the mound for MSU. Alleman only surrendered one earned run on four hits and recorded eight strikeouts.

The final game of the series — a 4-1 Indiana win — was another defensive battle until Indiana pulled away late. The Hoosiers used a three-run bottom of the eighth to take the lead and ultimately complete the sweep. Freshman pitcher Cam Vieaux pitched another solid outing, only giving up four hits in seven innings, but still recorded the loss.

With the series sweep, Indiana remains at the top of the Big Ten while MSU drops into the bottom half of the league.

MSU will return to the field on Tuesday when the Spartans welcome the Toledo Rockets to McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field.

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