Mark Van Ameyde
MSU takes on EMU in the Clash at Comerica.
Jordan Zimmerman enters the week with a 16-game hitting streak.
Head coach Jake Boss announces impressive recruiting class for the Spartan program.
Two camps available: Sept. 9 and Sept. 30.
MSU earns a No. 3 seed in the Palo Alto Regional and will face Pepperdine.
Nebraska 3, Michigan State 2; May 22, 2014, Omaha, Nebraska
Van Ameyde has been one of the key components to MSU's success the past four years, including helping the program to its first Big Ten Championship in 32 years in 2011 and a berth in the NCAA Regionals in 2012.
Under Van Ameyde's guidance, the Spartan pitching staff has shown significant improvement.
In 2013, the Spartan pitching staff compiled a 3.22 ERA, the 10th lowest in program history. MSU also held opponents to a .240 batting average, which tied for the best in the Big Ten. For the second consecutive year, MSU ranked in the top 40 nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (22nd at 2.73), WHIP (14th at 1.18) and ERA (36th at 3.22)
During the 2012 run to the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans had one of their best seasons in school history on the mound. MSU recorded 389 strikeouts, second most in the school record book, and compiled a 3.28 ERA, the 10th lowest in the history of the program and the best ERA for a Spartan staff since 1972. The Spartans led the Big Ten in opposing batting average (.249), saves (15) and pickoffs (12) while ranking second in strikeouts and third in ERA. Michigan State also ranked among the top 40 nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (22nd at 2.76), WHIP (33rd at 1.24) and ERA (35th at 3.28).
For the second straight year, Tony Bucciferro earned All-Big Ten honors (third team) while becoming MSU's all-time leader in innings pitched (372.1) and games started (55). Bucciferro, who was drafted in the 14th round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, also finished his career second in school history in strikeouts (272) and tied for third in wins (26).
The Spartans led the league in saves in part due to closer Tony Wieber, who collected a career-high nine saves in 2012. Wieber finished his career as MSU's all-time saves leader (18) and was selected in the 33rd round by the San Diego Padres.
All three of Michigan State's Big Ten starters - Bucciferro, Andrew Waszak and David Garner - were named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week during the 2012 season, a first in school history. Bucciferro won the award twice (Feb. 20 and May 14), while Waszak (April 16) and Garner (April 30) each earned it once. The four Spartan selections for Big Ten Pitcher of the Week was also a school record (previous: three in 2011).
In 2011, MSU had two first-team All-Big Ten starting pitchers (Kurt Wunderlich, Bucciferro) for the first time in school history. In addition, Wunderlich became the first Spartan to be named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year after setting a then-MSU single-season record with 101.2 innings pitched while winning a conference-high 10 games, the second most in school history. Wunderlich was drafted in the 20th round by the Oakland Athletics in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The bullpen was equally effective, ranking second in the Big Ten with 16 saves. Wieber led the way with a team-high eight saves, tying for third-most in an MSU season, to garner third-team All-Big Ten accolades. Van Ameyde also mentored Garner, who collected five victories on the mound and was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
Overall, the Spartans finished third in the Big Ten with a 4.08 staff ERA, the lowest ERA for the program since 1978. MSU also walked the third-fewest batters (172) in the conference and the 332 strikeouts were the fifth most in school history.
During MSU's 34-win campaign in 2010, the Spartans ranked third in the Big Ten in ERA and allowed the fewest amount of runs and walks in the conference. Michigan State also recorded 335 strikeouts as a staff, the fourth-highest total in school history.
All three of MSU's Big Ten starting pitchers - A.J. Achter, Wunderlich and Bucciferro - ranked among the top 11 in the conference in innings pitched. Achter, who was drafted in the 46th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Minnesota, ranked second in school history and third in the Big Ten in 2010 with 98.2 innings pitched. A third-team All-Big selection, Wunderlich led the team and tied for fifth in the conference with eight wins. Six Spartans on the staff collected at least four wins on the mound, and closer Kurtis Frymier tied for third in school history with eight saves.
In Van Ameyde's first season in East Lansing, MSU ranked fourth in the Big Ten in ERA and opposing batting average. MSU's 326 runs and 537 hits allowed in 2009 were each the second-lowest in the conference. The Spartan pitching staff also totaled 302 strikeouts, which was the most by a MSU squad since 2004 and the ninth-highest single-season total in school history. The Spartan pitching staff also picked-off a league-high 19 base runners. Van Ameyde was also a part of the Spartans' first no-hitter in over 16 years as on April 4, senior pitcher Nolan Moody no-hit Northwestern in the first-ever game at McLane Baseball Stadium.
Van Ameyde joined the Spartans after spending the previous season at EMU and the previous three years with Georgetown, serving as an associate head coach with the Hoyas during the 2007 season. In 2008, Van Ameyde helped Eastern Michigan win the MAC West Division title and the MAC Tournament championship while earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. His pitching staff showed steady improvement throughout the season, as the Eagles won 25 of their last 40 games heading into postseason play. In conference games, Robert Wendzicki led the league in saves with seven while Matt Shoemaker posted a perfect 3-0 record. Former EMU pitchers Dan Puls and Matt Shoemaker both signed free agent contracts with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels, respectively, following the 2008 season under Van Ameyde's tutelage.
While an assistant at Georgetown, Van Ameyde guided the pitching rotation to numerous team records, including most strikeouts in a season, fewest walks in a season and the lowest team ERA in 23 years. In 2006, the Hoyas posted the most Big East Conference victories since 1985. He also served as recruiting coordinator for the Hoya baseball program, was responsible for recruiting trips, and ran the annual Georgetown Baseball Camp.
Prior to joining Georgetown, Van Ameyde spent four seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Detroit-Mercy. He led UDM to the top of the Horizon League in batting average as the team's hitting instructor, in addition to serving as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. From 1999-2000, Van Ameyde was the head coach at St. Mary's College, where he was responsible for the implementation of the program. He led St. Mary's College to the NSCAA World Series in 2000.
Van Ameyde earned two letters pitching for Detroit, garnering all-conference and team MVP honors in 1994. He also pitched at Henry Ford Community College for two years and helped the team to a regional championship in 1991.
Van Ameyde graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication from UDM in 1996. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in sports administration from Wayne State.
Van Ameyde and his wife, Melissa, have three sons: Chase, Cole and Cash.