Spartans Begin Spring Break Trip at Austin Peay
MSU begins stretch of eight games in 11 days.
Feb. 28, 2013
|Games 7-9: Michigan State (3-3) at Austin Peay (7-1)|
|Dates||Friday, March 1 - Sunday, March 3|
|Location||Clarksville, Tenn. | Raymond C. Hand Park (1,000)|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Austin Peay|
|Notes||Michigan State | Austin Peay|
|Media Coverage||Live stats and live audio for all three games available at APSUGovernors.com|
|Social Media Updates||@statebaseball | Facebook|
|Date | Time||Friday, March 1 | 4 p.m. ET|
|Pitching Matchup||MSU: Sr. RHP Andrew Waszak (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs.
APSU: Jr. RHP Lee Ridenhour (2-0, 1.35 ERA)
|Date | Time||Saturday, March 2 | 2 p.m. ET|
|Pitching Matchup||MSU: Jr. RHP David Garner (1-0, 7.36 ERA) vs.
APSU: Sr. RHP Casey Delgado (1-1, 7.45 ERA)
|Date | Time||Sunday, March 3 | 2 p.m. ET|
|Pitching Matchup||MSU: So. RHP Mick VanVossen (0-0, 6.23 ERA) vs.
APSU: Jr. RHP A.J. Gaura (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
SPARTANS BEGIN SPRING BREAK TRIP WITH THREE-GAME SET AT AUSTIN PEAY
The Michigan State baseball team begins its eight-game, 11-day spring break trip with a three-game series at Austin Peay this weekend (March 1-3) in Clarksville, Tenn.
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...
"Michigan State alum Craig Brown plays host to us at the Greenville Drive facility - a beautiful facility. The weather down there was much like it was here; not quite what we were looking for, weather-wise. It's a great trip, it's the highlight of our year, and we get a chance to play some good competition.
"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...
"I think for some of the freshmen it's still a feeling-out process. Those guys aren't scared of anything, which is good. The first game of the year I probably didn't put [Freshman RHP] Justin Alleman in a very good position and he came in and blew a save for us - that's probably more on me than anything else. I put him in a tough spot and I shouldn't have. [Junior LHP] Jeff Kinley is as good as there is in the conference out of the bullpen and he was rolling along and I took him out and tried to give Justin an opportunity for a save in his first college game and, again, I didn't give him a chance to be successful. He bounced back the next day and threw very well. [Freshman LHP] Anthony Misiewicz is a kid who as a freshman threw very well for us out of the bullpen. [Freshman OF] Cam Gibson got his first start the other day - he's got game-changing speed, and as long as he can settle in offensively and get used to the pitching at this level he's got a chance to be a very good player, too. Those guys aren't scared of anything; they work hard and it's a good group. They never think that they're out of a ballgame, which is good. Some of the teams we had the first couple years - maybe you couldn't say that about them. I still think our leadership is very good and I think we're going to continue to improve."
On his team's recent offensive performance...
"I was disappointed in some of the approaches that we took. I think we gave away a lot of at bats. I think there were times where we were trying to put the ball in play with some guys who should not have that approach. We've got some big, strong, athletic kids that can hit for some power and we're a little bit too satisfied with just making contact. We're addressing that right now; those are all things that we've talked about for the last two weeks. It's difficult when you're in the cages and your depth perception is different - you're not in those game situations and you can't go out and intersquad, so you do as best as you can with where you're at. I would hope that coming up on Friday and as it carries on to the rest of the break and we're gone, that just the 28 of us as far as players are concerned and we're gone for those 11 days that we really see some improvements there."
On the new infield (new starters this season at third base, shortstop and second base)...
"Those guys just need to play. I think it's different, obviously, from fall baseball and it's extremely different from being inside at Duffy (indoor football practice facility). For those guys, the more reps they get, I think the better off we're going to be. [RS Sophomore INF] Ryan Richardson's a junior college transfer who's coming off an arm injury, but I think he's going to be very solid. He may now look the prettiest all the time but at the end of the day, I think he's going to a very good job for us. The more we play, from game one to game six, they've been dramatically different and better, quite honestly, in the way we've played over the last two weeks, so I would hope that that would continue to improve."
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Austin Peay (7-1)
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.
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)
Tennessee Tech opened the season with series victories over Illinois and Niagara.
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