Spartans Begin Spring Break Trip at Austin Peay
Feb. 28, 2013
SPARTANS BEGIN SPRING BREAK TRIP WITH THREE-GAME SET AT AUSTIN PEAY
The Spartans will then take on Tennessee Tech (March 5-6) in Cookeville, Tenn., in a short two-game set before facing No. 8 Kentucky for three games the following weekend (March 8-10) in Lexington, Ky.
The Spartans (3-3) are coming off a four-game split at the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, S.C., last weekend. MSU started things off on Friday with wins over Western Carolina and Cincinnati, but fell to Furman on Saturday and Miami-Ohio on Sunday.
This marks the first-ever meeting between the Spartans and the Governors. Austin Peay enters the weekend on a six-game winning streak and is 7-1 overall after defeating Southern Illinois on Tuesday. APSU took two of three against Iowa to open the season and swept Illinois State last weekend.
The Governors went 40-24 last season and advanced to the Eugene Regional title game. APSU won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship for the second straight year in 2012 and defeated Indiana State and Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Regionals before falling to Oregon.
MSU senior right-hander Andrew Waszak will get the call for the Spartans on Friday in the series opener. After pitching in a no decision on Opening Day Feb. 15 against Furman, Waszak struck out a career-high eight in six innings of work and allowed just one run and four hits to earn the win over Western Carolina last Friday.
Junior right-hander David Garner (1-0) gets the nod on Saturday. Garner picked up the victory in his first start of the season against Northwestern on Feb. 17 (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 5 K, 1 BB) and took a no decision last Saturday at Furman (5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 K, 2 BB).
In Sunday's finale, sophomore RHP Mick VanVossen will take the hill in his second start of the season. VanVossen struck out six in 4 1/3 innings of work in the 14-6 triumph over Cincinnati on Feb. 22.
Live stats and radio broadcasts for all of this weekend's games against Austin Peay will be available at APSUGovernors.com.
QUOTING COACH BOSS
Looking back at the first two weeks and looking ahead to spring break...
"We didn't play as well as we had hoped. I think expectations are a little bit higher. I think some of it can maybe be attributed to being outside for the first time and some of it is that we do have some young guys that we're running out there but at the same time, again, expectations are a little bit higher for the way that we've played.
"We got some good pitching performances and the depth on the mound is a bit of a question mark right now. Defensively, I think we're getting better and I think that may have been the result of being outside for the first time. Offensively, we're really struggling. The pitching is usually ahead of the hitting at this time of the year and hopefully the more at bats we get, the more comfortable guys will be and they can settle into things at the plate.
"This week we embark on an 11-day road trip on Thursday. We'll play eight games in 11 days against Austin Peay, who's been a very good program, a fixture in the NCAA Tournament, and Tennessee Tech, who's an up and coming program who has gotten a couple wins against Big Ten schools and our opponents this year already. Then we go to Kentucky, who was preseason ranked fifth in a couple polls, and I think they're in the top 15 right now, so they're a very good program out of the SEC. It'll be a good test for us and a good opportunity to get better."
On the team's freshmen...
On his team's recent offensive performance...
On the new infield (new starters this season at third base, shortstop and second base)...
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Austin Peay (7-1)
APSU took two of three against Iowa to open the season and swept Illinois State last weekend.
The Governors went 40-24 last season and advanced to the Eugene Regional title game.
Austin Peay was voted as the preseason favorite to win the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference title.
APSU won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship for the second straight year in 2012 and defeated Indiana State and Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Regionals before falling to Oregon.
The Governors have won five Ohio Valley Conference Tournament titles (1996, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012). They have won at least one game in their last three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Gary McClure is in his 26th season as head coach of the Governors. He owns a career record of 759-677-4. His 759 career wins rank second most in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Series History vs. Austin Peay: First meeting
Tennessee Tech (4-4)
The Golden Eagles host Bowling Green in a three-game series this weekend in Cookeville, Tenn.
TTU returns eight position starters and 19 letterwinners from last season's team that went 21-32 and finished eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 10-16 league record.
Tennessee Tech has made three NCAA Tournament appearances (1997, 2001, 2009).
Matt Bragga is in his 10th season as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He owns a career record of 219-274-2.
Junior first baseman Zach Stephens was named a third-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Series History vs. Tennessee Tech: First meeting
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