Matt Charboneau/ The Detroit News
Columbus, Ohio — Michigan State felt it deserved the No. 1 seed headed into the Big Ten tournament.
On Friday night, Illinois showed it has no intention of giving up that distinction.
After winning five straight games in their final at-bat, the Illini jumped on the Spartans early and cruised to a 4-1 victory in the semifinals at Huntington Park.
Michigan State (35-20) now heads to the loser's bracket where it will face Minnesota at 3:35 p.m. today. The winner advances to the championship game at 7 p.m. against Illinois where it will take two victories to bring home the conference title.
Illinois (27-25) got to Michigan State starter Tony Bucciferro early, scoring a run in the first and pushing the junior right-hander's pitch count high through the first four innings.
It paid off with two more runs in the fourth on a two-run double from Josh Parr. Illinois added a run in the sixth on a home run from Matt Dittman.
Michigan State got on the board in the eighth when Jeff Holm led off with a walk and then scored on a double from designated hitter Jared Hook. The Spartans had plenty of opportunities to score but stranded nine runners.
Bucciferro (8-3) struggled for Michigan State, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and walking two while striking out five.
Illinois got an outstanding effort from Anderson (7-6), who gave up six hits and walked four in 7 1/3 innings, but was able to strand eight Michigan State runners. From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110527/SPORTS0202/105270447/Illinois-drops-Michigan-State-to-loser-s-bracket#ixzz1Nc7JIom0