Scott Shaw tossed his first complete game of the season in Illinois' 5-3 comeback win over Michigan State in game three of the series.
March 30, 2008
LANSING, Mich. - Illinois scored first but fell behind in the third before mounting a frantic four-run seventh-inning rally to win, 5-3. Shortstop Brandon Wikoff drove in the game-winning run, right fielder Craig Lutes was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, an RBI and a run, and Scott Shaw threw the second complete game in as many days by an Illini starter as Illinois improved to 12-6 overall, 3-0 in the Big Ten.
Illinois got a run in the second after third baseman Dominic Altobelli led off with a double just inside the third-base bag and came around to score on first baseman Ryan Hastings' base hit up the middle. The Illini managed to load the bases after DH Daniel Webb's single and left fielder Craig Lutes' walk, but a controversial double play ended the frame with Illinois leading 1-0.
MSU took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the third when the Spartans started the inning with four consecutive hits and another run scored on a throwing error by Illini starter Scott Shaw, pushing Michigan State ahead, 3-1.
After leaving four runners in scoring position in the first five innings, Illinois caught fire in its final at bat with Webb knocking a lead-off single in the seventh. He was pinch-run for by Casey McMurray, who came around to score on Lutes' double to left-center. Pinch hitter Mike Giller singled up the middle to drive in Lutes and tie the game at 3 and was pinch-run for by Pete Cappetta. Center fielder Kyle Hudson walked and, one out later, shortstop Brandon Wikoff laced a base hit up the middle that brought home Cappetta for the go-ahead run. During Altobelli's at bat, a pitch got away from catcher Kyle Day and Hudson advanced to third. Wikoff got a late start off first and wisely got into a rundown when he realized he couldn't make it to second safely. He was able to evade the tag by second baseman Brandon Doherty and slide safely into the bag as Hudson streaked home to put the Illini up 5-3.
Scott Shaw came back out to pitch the seventh and picked up where he had left off in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Shaw induced two fly balls and a pop-up to end the game, picking up his first complete game of the season and third of his career. He finished the game facing the minimum number of Spartans in the final four frames and working 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, fifth and seventh. Shaw gave up three runs - two earned on six hits and a walk while striking out two Spartans go improve to 2-1 on the year.
Game two is just beginning after a rain delay that lasted nearly one hour after the completion of the first game. Check FightingIllini.com later tonight for the final wrap-up of Illinois' series at Michigan State.