MSU Baseball Opened 2018 Practice Friday
Spartans conduct official practice in preparation for 2018 season-opener on Feb. 16
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State baseball officially began preparations for the 2018 season with the Spartans’ first practice Friday afternoon in unusually mild weather for end of January.
Head coach Jake Boss, Jr., opened his 10th season at the helm of the Spartans with Friday’s practice. The first half of Friday’s action took place in the Duffy Daugherty Indoor Practice Facility and the MSU Football Practice field, while the second half was held at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field and the Indoor Hitting and Pitching Facility.
“It was a really good first day today. I think to be outside on January 26 on a 50 degree day on a natural surface is just outstanding, so kudos to our groundskeepers for getting our infield heating system working and up and running, so we can get out and get some work in,” Boss said. “It was a really good day. I thought the energy was really high today, which was obviously good to see.”
The Spartans open the 2018 season on Feb. 16 in Fresno, Calif., with a four-game series at Fresno State to open a 54-game regular-season ledger.
“I thought we did a lot of good things on the mound, I thought we threw well today, the bats were a little bit behind the pitching, probably, at this point, but the more live pitching we see, the better and the quicker the bats will catch up. Overall, a very good day. Obviously, a lot to work on to get ready for three weeks from today, but our guys did a nice job preparing themselves since the start of school in January over the last two-three weeks, and they were ready to go today. I’m very, very encouraged,” Boss said.
Of the 54 games, 12 of them are against teams that played in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The Spartans’ 2018 slate includes a 12-game homestand as part of 26 total home games at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium. The 12 home games in a row is the longest homestand since 2000 when Michigan State had 14-straight home contests, while the 26 total home game is the most since 2005 when MSU also had 26.
The Spartans have six returning position starters as part of 24 returning letterwinners from last season’s squad that logged a 29-23 overall record and a 10-14 Big Ten ledger. On the mound, MSU returns five pitchers with starting experience.
Michigan State baseball will hold its 13th Annual First Pitch Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will begin at 12 p.m. with a silent auction and player autographs. Dinner and a formal program will follow at 1 p.m.
This year’s event will feature Major League Baseball All-Star Frank Tanana as the keynote speaker, while honoring Brian Storm as the Alumnus of the Year.
Tickets for the First Pitch Dinner range in price from $15 per person for children and students, $40 for Spartan baseball alumni, and $50 each for adults. Sponsored tables of eight are also available.