Baseball Ready to Challenge No. 21 TCU
March 6, 2014
This weekend will mark the first-ever meetings between Michigan State and TCU.
Blaise Salter continues to lead MSU at the plate with a .341 batting average ... Salter carries a 10-game hitting streak into Friday's game, which is tied for his career long.
Salter's 11 RBIs are tied for tops in the Big Ten, while Jimmy Pickens' 10 RBIs are tied for second most.
MSU's 20 doubles rank in a tie for third in the Big Ten, while its 10 stolen bases rank third in the conference.
The pitching staff's 71 strikeouts are fourth most in the conference.
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in fielding double plays with 13.
Anthony Cheky's six stolen bases (6-7) are tied for third in the conference ... Last season, Checky tied for first in the Big Ten with 23 stolen bases.
The Spartan bullpen has a 3.04 ERA through 11 games ... Six of the 11 pitchers that have come out of the bullpen have yet to allow an earned run in 20.0 combined innings.
Michigan State has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 22-4 in the fifth through seventh innings this season.
Freshman reliever Walter Borkovich was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday ... Borkovich tossed 4.2 innings of scoreless relief in Sunday's 18-13 win over Eastern Illinois.
MSU is 3-0 when playing error-free baseball and is 4-0 when carrying a lead into the ninth inning.
After going 12-3 in one-run games last season, MSU is off to another good start in 2014, going 2-0 in one-run games so far this season.
Closer Jeff Kinley picked up saves in both victories over Wright State on opening weekend and earned another vs. Utah, giving him three on the year, which is tied for second in the Big Ten ... Kinley, a redshirt junior, made just nine appearances last year after suffering a blood clot in his arm.
The Spartans won at least 30 games for the fourth consecutive season last year ... Entering the season, MSU had more wins (140) than any other Big Ten team over the last four seasons.
Pickens Leads Offensive Outburst
Salter's Hot Start
Lowery has made six appearances, which ranks second on the team. Lowery earned his first collegiate win by pitching a scoreless final 1.1 innings against No. 1 Oregon State.
Borkovich was named the Big Ten Rookie of the Week on Monday after tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless relief in the 18-13 win over Eastern Illinois. On the season, Borkovich is 1-0 and has yielded seven hits in 6.0 innings.
Kinley Back Healthy
Taking Down No. 1
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