Big Ten baseball: Michigan wins, MSU rained out
Jonathan Engelmann scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with two out in the eighth inning, and Michigan defeated Minnesota 3-2 on Thursday hours after Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes died following a four-year battle with leukemia.
Austin Athmann’s RBI single had given the Gophers (34-20) a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth. Michael Brdar singled leading off the bottom half and pitcher Dalton Sawyer (7-6) committed an error on Engelmann’s sacrifice bunt. Jordan Jess relieved, and Bruder scored the tying run on Jake Bivens’ one-out single.
After Cody Bruder struck out with the bases loaded, Jess’ wild pitch brought in Engelmann.
Bryan Pall (3-1) got the win after relieving Oliver Jaskie, who pitched seven strong innings, and Evan Hill earned his first save.
No. 5 seed Michigan (36-20) plays Friday against the loser of Friday's game between Iowa and Ohio State (Big Ten Network).
Minnesota announced the 55-year-old Oakes died Thursday morning. He was the Gophers’ pitching coach for 18 years and had recently entered hospice care.
Michigan State’s Thursday night game against Maryland was rained out and will be played at 10 a.m. Friday on the Big Ten Network.
Indiana 6, Nebraska 2: Logan Sowers’ two-out single in the seventh inning drove in the go-ahead run and Caleb Baragar and two relievers combined on a three-hitter as Indiana stayed alive.
The Hoosiers (32-23), who were swept in a three-game series at Nebraska last weekend, advance to another elimination game Friday against the loser between Maryland and Michigan State.
The Cornhuskers (37-20) went two games and out in the conference tournament for the second straight year.
Indiana had clutch hitting with two outs against the Huskers, going 6 for 16 with five RBIs in those situations. Base hits by Sowers and Luke Miller made it 4-2, and Laren Eustace’s home run in the eighth made it a four-run game.
Baragar pitched a strong five innings before Thomas Belcher (5-3) and Jake Kelzer worked two each. Jeff Chesnut (3-2) was the loser.