Michigan State 4, Maryland 3
Junior first baseman Jordan Zimmerman got the key hits, and sophomore starter Ethan Landon did enough on the mound as the Spartans advanced.
Zimmerman hit a mammoth solo home run — the ball flew over the left-field bullpen and landed in the bleachers beyond the back wall — to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth inning. He broke the tie with a RBI single in the eighth inning.
Landon surrendered just four hits and two runs over seven innings against the No. 6 seed Terrapins. Maryland had the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, but a double play on a liner ended the game.
No. 7 seed Michigan State had lost five of six contests before picking up a 5-1 victory over No. 2 seed Nebraska in Wednesday’s opening round. But now the Spartans are one win away from the title game.
Maryland 3, Indiana 0
The Terrapins got a 16-strikeout performance from Mike Shawaryn against IU on Wednesday. They stayed alive with a two-hit complete game shutout by sophomore Brian Shaffer Friday against the Hoosiers.
Shaffer limited Indiana to just three base runners in the elimination game. No. 6 seed Maryland advanced to play Iowa on Saturday — but the Terrapins have to win twice to reach the title game.
At the very least, Shawaryn and Shaffer have given Maryland a chance to keep its relievers fresh to possibly make a loser’s bracket run. Both starters threw all nine innings in tournament wins over Indiana, which didn’t get a man past first base in Friday’s loss.
Freshman Marty Costes hit a two-run home run in the first inning. That was enough for Shaffer, who became just the fourth pitcher in Big Ten tournament history to allow two or fewer hits over nine innings.