Baseball Travels To No. 21 Oklahoma
March 15, 2007
MICHIGAN STATE (5-6) at No. 21/24 OKLAHOMA (15-5)
L. Dale Mitchell Park Norman, Okla.
Game 1: Friday, March 16 8 p.m. ET 7 p.m. CT
Game 2: Saturday, March 17 4 p.m. ET 3 p.m. CT
Game 3: Sunday, March 18 2 p.m. ET 1 p.m. CT
Media coverage for all games: Live stats for free at www.sooner sports.com; live audio and video available for purchase at www.soonersports.com
OU: So. RH Stephen Porlier (Sugarland, Texas, 6-2, 206)
OU: Jr. RH Ryan Mottern (6-0, 195, Palestine, Texas)
OU: Jr. RH Brad Burns (6-4, 203, Gracemont, Okla.)
AFTER EIGHT-GAME SPRING TRIP, SPARTANS CONTINUE ROAD SWING WITH SERIES AT OKLAHOMA
Senior right-hander Craig Brookes, who is sixth in the Big Ten with a 1.53 ERA, will face another tough challenge as he gets the call for game one against OU. Brookes (2-0) has been dominant this year with 17 strikeouts in 17.2 innings, and opponents have only hit .172 against him. In his last outing, Brookes earned the victory vs. Quinnipiac, striking out six in 6.2 innings while allowing two runs and seven hits.
OU game-one starter Stephen Porlier, a transfer from Tulane, has been near-perfect in 2007. He is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched and has struck out 31. His last outing, Porlier struck out eight in six innings to defeat San Diego State at Tony Gywnn Stadium.
Junior Jon Kibler is coming off an impressive performance in his last start as he picked up his first win as a Spartan. Kibler (1-1) fanned a season-high nine and surrendered just four runs (two earned) and four hits in seven innings of action at South Florida last Saturday. The 6-5, 210-pound lefty was a junior college All-American last season pitching for Dundalk (Md.) Community College, racking up an 11-2 record with a 1.63 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 88 innings of action. Kibler pitched for Western Carolina as a freshman.
The Sooners will send junior right-hander Ryan Mottem to the mound for game two. Mottem is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 24.2 innings of work.
On Sunday, southpaw John Dwan will go for the Spartans. Dwan (1-1) earned the win in MSU's first victory of the season, tossing six innings of three-hit, one-run ball in the 4-2 triumph over Jacksonville. The Libertyville, Ill., native matches up against right-handed junior Brad Burns, who is 0-0 with a 4.30 ERA in six appearances and three starts.
After the three-game series at Oklahoma, the Spartans will finally play in East Lansing for the first home games of the year. MSU is scheduled to take on Concordia next Saturday-Sunday (March 24-25). at Kobs Field.
QUICK LOOK AT THE SPARTANS
MSU returns 18 players, including 11 pitchers, from last season's team that finished 26-30 overall, 13-19 in the Big Ten.
The Spartans led the Big Ten last season in stolen bases (98) and triples (29) and were second in the Big Ten last season in batting (.315), on-base percentage (.388) and slugging percentage (.451).
Junior infielder Steve Gerstenberger led the Big Ten and ranked 14th in the nation with eight triples in 2006, tying for 10th most in an MSU single-season.
Sophomore catcher/outfielder Kyle Day led the team and ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 52 runs scored as a freshman, which tied for 10th most in MSU single-season history.
MSU is third in the Big Ten in batting with a .320 average.
The Green and White rank first in the conference in hits (122) and runs (78). Junior Steve Gerstenberger is sixth in the league with his .422 average. He leads the Big Ten with 19 hits.
Craig Brookes is tied for third among Big Ten pitchers with 17 strikeouts.
CROSSTOWN SHOWDOWN TICKETS ON SALE
Until now, tickets for the game pitting the Lugnuts (Class A affiliate of Toronto) against the Michigan State Spartans were only available as part of purchasing a season-ticket package. All tickets for the event are just $5.
"We are very excited about the game and are happy that we could help put this event together for the Greater Lansing community," said Lugnuts co-owner Tom Dickson. "It promises to be a unique event that baseball fans of all ages can enjoy while rooting on their two favorite teams."
The much anticipated match up has been a hot topic among baseball lovers in Mid-Michigan since its announcement last September. It will be the Lugnuts first action of the 2007 season, while the Spartans will take a break from their regular season schedule to take part in the contest.
The Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance will afford fans the unique chance to see current college students take on a professional team. It will be the first time in history that the Lugnuts have squared off against an amateur team.
Tickets for the Tuesday, April 3 game can be purchased at the Oldsmobile Park box office or by visiting www.lansinglugnuts.com.
at the official