It took 13 innings on Sunday but the Spartans topped the Wolverines in the final game of the season series by a score of 10-8. With the win Michigan State remained perfect in games that extended into extra innings, improving their record to 4-0 in games longer than nine innings.
The winning run came around in the top of the 13th when Jimmy Pickens hit an RBI double to right-center to bring home Justin Scanlon. Pickens then himself scored off an RBI single by John Martinez to center to give the Spartans the 10-8 advantage.
Michigan State headed to Ann Arbor on Sunday trying to avoid being swept by their rivals after having dropped games the previous two days in Ann Arbor and East Lansing.
With Michigan State down 8-7 and one out Justin Scanlon singled and advanced to second when Pickens was hit by a pitch. Jared Hook walked to load the bases with two outs and Jordan Keur came to the plate. He too was struck by a pitch that forced in Scanlon to tie the game. The Spartans were unable to capitalize any further on the loaded bases in the inning.
Tony Wieber was once again the story for the Spartans, giving his team 3.2 innings of scoreless ball leading to his first win of the season. He was handed the ball in the 10th and stranded a Wolverine runner at second base. Wieber did not allow a run during his time on the mound, but did allow Michigan to get at least one baserunner on in each of the innings he threw.
Wind played a major factor in the game on Sunday, with gusts effecting play all day. Michigan State benefited from the environmental factors in the 13th when a pop fly to second base by Scanlon, but the gusts pushed the ball out of the reach of Michigan 2B Kevin Krantz and allowed Scanlon to reach second base.
Pickens then put a charge into the first pitch he saw and scored Scanlon with a double. Martinez then singled Pickens in to give the Spartans an insurance run, extending the lead to 10-8 heading into the bottom of the 13th.
The four and a half hour game finally ended when Wieber got the Wolverines out in the bottom of the 13th. Michigan State's next game is Tuesday against Notre Dame at McLane Baseball Stadium in East Lansing at 3:05 p.m.