Omaha, Neb. — Jordan Zimmerman hit a game-tying homer in the sixth inning and drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth as Michigan State defeated Maryland 4-3 in the Big Ten tournament on Friday.
Ethan Landon and two relievers combined to hold the Terrapins to six hits, and the Spartans (36-18) advanced to a Saturday Bracket 1 winner’s game at 6 p.m.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “We executed and made plays when we needed to today. It was a grind-it-out type of effort from our guys and they got the job done.
“Our guys in the locker room understand what needs to be done if we want to keep playing.”
Zimmerman had the only extra-base hit against Maryland (29-26), which plays an elimination game against Indiana on Friday night. Nick Cieri and Anthony Papio hit home runs for the Terps.
“I didn’t really have a good approach early and was swinging at (Maryland starter Taylor Bloom’s) pitches,” Zimmerman said. “Brandon Hughes took me aside and said, ‘Hey, just go up there and drive the ball up.’ That’s what I did. I finally got a pitch that I could hit and I didn’t miss it.”
Landon (8-3) gave up two runs and four hits and two walks over seven innings, and Dakota Mekkes worked the final 1.1 innings for his seventh save.
Terrapins starter Taylor Bloom (6-5) went 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, two earned. He struck out four and walked none.