at Kobs Field Mar. 20-22, vs. Illinois Sat. (DH): Noon Sun. (DH): NoonLAST WEEK
at Buies Creek, N.C. Mar. 7, MSU 8, Columbia 3 Mar. 7, MSU 6, Campbell 2 Mar. 9, MSU 10, Campbell 3 Mar. 10, Campbell 13, MSU 2 Mar. 11, Campbell 2, MSU 1 at Raleigh, N.C. Mar. 13, Ohio 5, MSU 4 Mar. 14, Ohio 14, MSU 2 Mar. 14, MSU 11, Ohio 4 Mar. 15, MSU 7, Ohio 5HOME OPENER
The 1998 Big Ten schedule gets under way, as MSU hosts Illinois in its first home action of the season. MSU is coming off a 5-4 spring trip to North Carolina, as they split a pair of four-game sets with Campbell and Ohio, and are currently riding a two-game winning streak. Due to the inclement weather, Fridayis game has been moved to Sunday, as part of a twin bill. MSU and Illinois will lock horns on a Saturday doubleheader at noon, with another to follow on Sunday, beginning at noon.SCOUTING REPORT ON ILLINOIS
Illinois has a 5-9 mark through March 15, as they host a trio of contests at home this week. The Illini are led by the twin-brother senior outfield duo of Danny and Dusty Rhodes. *Dusty is hitting .415 through Mar. 15, with Danny leading the team in RBI with 11. The senior combo of Brett Weber (2-2, 4.55) and Cody Salter (1-3, 3.30) spear-head the rotation.
As a team, the Illini have posted a strong .295 batting average and have banged out 19 home runs. However, their pitching staff has recorded an ERA of 6.63 in the squadis first 14 games.
The Spartans won just one of three in Champaign to open last seasonis conference play. 3B/OF Mike Pisani and SS Tom Grigg each had five hits in the series, but the MSU pitching staff had trouble with the Illini offense.
MSU PROBABLE LINEUP
Pos B Player CF R Mike Wagner SS S Tom Grigg P/DH L Mark Mulder C R Joe Kalczynski 3B R Mike Pisani LF L Joe Albaugh RF R Carlos Fernandez 1B L Ryan Leson 2B R Ted DemetralMSU ROTATION
Sat. (Gm. 1): Mark Mulder, LHP Sat. (Gm. 2): Brian Murphy, RHP Sun. (Gm. 1): Gary Zsigo, LHP Sun. (Gm. 2): Kimya Massey, LHPMURPHY MOVIN' ON UP
Senior Brian Murphy continues to ascend MSU's career pitching charts. With 13 more strikeouts in two starts during the trip to North Carolina, he moved into seventh place on the schoolis strikeout list with 157. Murphy also moved into third place on MSU's career innings pitched ladder, as he has hurled 244 frames during his four-year career as a Spartan, just 27.1 out of the top spot, held by Stuart Hirschman.NORTH CAROLINA: WEEK IN REVIEW
Mar. 7: MICHIGAN STATE 8, Columbia 3: After allowing two first-inning runs, senior Brian Murphy slammed the door on the Columbia offense, retiring the final 22 batters he faced. The right-hander struck out ten, allowed just two hits and walked none, going eight innings for his first victory of the season. The Spartan offense compiled ten hits, putting seven runs on the board in the first four frames.
Mar. 7: MICHIGAN STATE 6, Campbell 2: In one the greatest pitching performances ever at Michigan State, Mark Mulder fanned 16 Camel hitters, allowing no walks and just two unearned runs, as he went the distance in the Spartan victory. The southpaw struck out at least one batter in every inning and surrendered just four hits. A pitchersi duel into the ninth, CF Mike Wagner snapped a 2-2 tie with bases-loaded double in the final frame to lift the Spartans to the win.
Mar. 9: MICHIGAN STATE 10, Campbell 3: LF Joe Albaugh went 4-4 with three doubles and four RBI, as the Spartans notched their third win in a row. Gary Zsigo fanned nine in 6.1 innings, keeping the Camels off the scoreboard until the seventh frame, as he picked up his second win of the year. Mike Wagner extended his nine-game hitting streak by going 3-5.
Mar. 10: Campbell 13, MICHIGAN STATE 2: The Camels used an eight-run fourth inning to pull away, as they took their first game of the series. Tom Grigg went 3-4 in the loss.
Mar. 11: Campbell 2, MICHIGAN STATE 1: An unearned Camel run in the seventh unknotted a 1-1 tie and gave the Camels a split in the series, spoiling the collegiate debut of MSU starter John Steiger. The right-hander recorded eight whiffs in five innings, giving up just one unearned run.
Mar. 13: Ohio 5, MICHIGAN STATE 4: Despite a 13-hit attack, the Spartans lost their fifth one-run game of the season. Five Spartans notched two hits.
Mar. 14: Ohio 14, MICHIGAN STATE 2: The Bobcats used a seven-run sixth inning to take game one of a double-header, recording 16 hits.
Mar. 14: MICHIGAN STATE 11, Ohio 4: Gary Zsigo picked up his second win in North Carolina, this time fanning a career-high 12 in seven innings on the hill. The Spartans jumped out with six runs in the top of the first and never looked back. Carlos Fernandez led a 12-hit MSU attack with three hits, one of five Spartans to record at least two hits.
Mar. 15: MICHIGAN STATE 7, Ohio 5: Kimya Massey effectively changed speeds to limit the Bobcats to just one run over his five innings on the mound, as MSU raced out to a 7-1 lead. Joe Albaugh again boasted three doubles as the Spartans survived a late Ohio rally.K - THE WEAPON OF CHOICE
Spartan pitchers, starters especially, have literally blown away opponents, posting tremendous strikeout numbers. Consider that following:
--MSU is averaging over a strikeout per inning, recording 127 whiffs in 121.1 innings (9.42 Ks per nine innings).
--The Spartans have a 2.76 K/BB ratio, while opposing hurlers post just a 1.76 mark.
--Three Green and White starters are averaging over ten Ks per nine innings: John Steiger (14.4: 8K, 5IP), Mark Mulder (12.3: 37K, 27IP), and Gary Zsigo (11.9: 30K, 22.2IP).
--Brian Murphy, who has 23 whiffs in 23.1 innings, is seventh on MSUis all-time strikeout list with 157.
--Mark Mulder fanned 16 against Campbell on Mar. 7 while walking none. Three times this season, an MSU starter has recorded over ten whiffs.
--Spartan pitchers recorded at least one strikeout in each of the first 28 innings to begin their stay in North Carolina.
--MSU starters have 105 strikeouts in 88.1 innings (10.70 whiffs per nine innings.
--In six games this season, MSU pitchers have combined to fan at least ten opposing batters.
--Every Spartan pitcher on the roster has recorded at least one K this season.JOE'S BIG ADVENTURE
Sophomore Joe Albaugh busted out during the nine-game North Carolina stretch, leading the squad with a .464 average (13-28). This included two three-double games, with one being a 4-4 night with four RBI in MSUis 10-3 over Campbell on Mar. 9. The lefty-hitting left fielder racked up eight RBI on the trip with four runs scored and four walks. Albaugh got on base seven plate appearances in a row on Mar. 9-10, and had a seven-game hitting streak during his stay in North Carolina. Lost in the shuffle was his first career sacrifice bunt, which proved vital in the ninth inning as MSU snapped a 2-2 tie against Campbell on Mar. 9.NEWS & NOTES
--Stat of the Week: MSUis 11-4 victory over Ohio in the second game of the doubleheader on Mar. 14 marked the 1,750th win in the history of the program. Founded in 1884, Michigan State baseball teams have now accumulated an all-time mark of 1751-1362-28.
--With three more victories, MSU head coach Ted Mahan will have 50 wins during his tenure at Michigan State.
--Gary Zsigo has acted as a band aid for the Spartans in doubleheaders this season. Following MSU losses in the first game of a twin bill, the sophomore southpaw has stopped the bleeding by going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA, fanning 21 in 13 innings.
--Tom Grigg, the switch-hitting No. 2 hitter, leads the team in RBI with 12. He has come through with runners on third and less than two out, driving home the runner in each of the five times heis been faced with the situation.
--Carlos Fernandez has filled in nicely for the injured Tom Hartley in right field. The junior, who usually splits time at catcher with Joe Kalczynski, started four of the last five games for the Spartans in right. Despite never playing the outfield as a collegian, Fernandez showed a solid glove, including a beautiful diving catch in the finale of the Ohio series, stalling a Bobcat rally and saving two runs from scoring.
--After Hartleyis 54-consecutive game streak ended with a hand injury on Mar. 10, Mike Pisani now assumes the lead in most consecutive games played with 32. Mark Mulder (30) and Tom Grigg (29) follow right on his heels.
--Lefty pitchers have accumulated a 6-3 mark, while their right-handed counterparts have 1-5 slate.
--In 42 at-bats this season, Joe Albaugh has doubled his double output of last sesaon, when he banged out three two-baggers in 73 at bats.
--MSU has just one home run in its last 11 games.
--The Spartans have tied or had more hits than their opponents in 11 of the squad's 15 games this season.
1998 PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS
2 - CARLOS FERNANDEZ, C - Went 3-4 and a run scored during the season-opener against Lamar (2/20), as well as recording 11 putouts...Went two-for-three in the Iowa contest (2/27)...Recorded 15 putouts in the opener of the Campbell series (3/7)...Made first collegiate start in right field against Campbell (3/11)...Notched three hits and two RBI against Ohio (3/14).
4 - ERIC DOYLE, 3B - Collected first collegiate hit vs. Ohio (3/13).
6 - TOM GRIGG, SS - Played in his 150th career game during the opening game of a twin bill against Lamar (2/20)...Reached base three times versus Troy State (2/28)...Went 2-5 with three RBI versus Campbell (3/7)...Racked up three hits vs. Campbell (3/10)...Had two hits and a double against Ohio (3/14)...2-4 with two RBI in win over Ohio (3/15).
7 - TED DEMETRAL, 2B - Went 2-3 in both games of a double dip against Lamar (2/21)...Reached base three times against Campbell (3/10)...2-3 vs. Ohio (3/14).
11 - STEVE CREPEAU, IF - Scored a run as a pinch-runner during his collegiate debut in the Troy State contest (2/28).
13 - MARK MULDER, LHP/1B - Allowed just two hits and struck out nine over five innings of work during the Spartansi season-opener against Lamar (2/20), picking up a no-decision...Knocked in three runs with a bases-loaded double to blow the game open against Lamar (2/21)...Went two-for-three with a solo home run against Iowa (2/27)...Carried the Spartans to victory over Troy State, as he limited the prolific Trojan offense to two runs over six innings, fanning six while picking up his first win of the season.
He went three-for-five at the dish, delivering two RBI on a fifth inning double to break the contest open (2/28)...Went 2-3 against Columbia (3/7)...Had tremendous performance against Campbell (3/7), fanning 16 and walking none in a complete-game victory. Allowed just four hits and two unearned runs, as he fanned a batter in every inning...Went 2-4 with a two-run home run versus Campbell (3/9)...Reached base three times at the plate and struck out six in seven innings on the hill in loss to Ohio (3/13)...Had three walks and two runs scored vs. Ohio (3/14)...2-3 vs. Ohio (3/15).
14 - BRIAN MURPHY, RHP - Gave up only one run over five innings of work during a no-decision in his first start of the season against Lamar (2/21)...Moved into ninth place on MSUis career strikeout list with seven Ks over 6.2 innings against Iowa (2/27)...Turned in excellent performance against Columbia (3/7), fanning ten and walking none while picking up his first victory of the season. He retired the final 22 batters he faced while going eight innings. With the ten Ks, he moved into eighth place on MSUis all-time strikeout list...Moved into seventh place on all-time Ks list with three vs. Ohio (3/14).
20 - RYAN LESON, 1B - Scored two runs while going 3-4 in the season-opener versus Lamar (2/20)...Stroked three hits for the second time in the year against Troy State (2/28), including a two-run, fourth-inning single...2-5 versus Campbell (3/9).
22 - MIKE PISANI, 3B - Went 2-5 during the season-opener against Lamar (2/20)...Invited to play with Bourne Braves of Cape Cod League...Went 2-4 with 2 steals against Campbell (3/7)...Had two hits vs. Campbell (3/9)...Recorded two hits vs. Ohio (3/14)...Two-run double vs. Ohio (3/15).
23 - MIKE WAGNER, CF - Opened the season with a nine-game hitting streak...Went 2-5 during his MSU debut against Lamar (2/20), recording two RBI, a double, a steal, and a run scored...Scored two runs while going 1-3 against Lamar (2/21)...Stroked a solo home run versus Iowa (2/27)...The lone Spartan with two hits against Providence (3/1)...Broke open a 2-2 tie in the ninth against Campbell (3/7), delivering a bases-loaded double...Went 3-5 with a double and a steal versus Campbell (3/9)...Reached base three times against Ohio (3/13).
25 - KIMYA MASSEY, LHP - Pitched 2.1 relief innings, not allowing a hit or run against Iowa (2/27)...Earned first victory of the season, going five innings of one-run ball vs. Ohio (3/15).
26 - JOE ALBAUGH, LF - Went 4-4 with three doubles and four RBI in victory over Campbell (3/9)...Cracked three more doubles against Ohio (3/15), going 3-4 at the plate with two RBI...Went .464 on trip in North Carolina (13-28).
30 - GARY ZSIGO, LHP/DH - Hurled six scoreless innings in his collegiate debut, scattering just three singles while striking out nine against Lamar (2/21), gaining the victory in a 4-0 Spartan win...Fanned nine in 6.1 innings, earning the W against Campbell (3/9)...Recorded 12 whiffs in a seven-inning complete game victory over Ohio (3/14).
28 - JOHN STEIGER, RHP - Collected eight whiffs in five innings during his collegiate debut against Campbell (3/11), allowing just one unearned run.
32 - JOE KALCZYNSKI, C - Contributed three hits, including a double and a RBI against Troy State (2/28)...Collected two RBI in his first collegiate game in the cleanup spot versus Columbia (3/7)...Reached base three times vs. Ohio (3/13)....2-3 vs. Ohio (3/14).
33 - DAVID STRUNK, RHP - Pitched two innings in collegiate debut (3/10).
41 - CHRIS YENS, RHP - Picked up his second career save, tossing the final three innings against Troy State (2/28).
45 - SCOTT BRANDELL, RHP - Finished out a 4-0 victory against Lamar (2/21) with one scoreless inning in his collegiate debut, striking out two.MARK MULDER PITCHING LOG
Michigan State left-hander Mark Mulder has been listed as one of the top professional prospects in collegiate baseball. Here is the recount of his 1998 starts on the mound.
Date Opponent W/L IP H R ER BB SO SeasonERA 2/20 Lamar ND 5.0 2 3 3 4 9 5.40 2/28 Troy State W 6.0 10 2 2 1 6 4.09 3/7 Campbell W 9.0 4 2 0 0 16 2.25 3/13 Ohio L 7.0 9 4 4 1 6 3.00 Totals 2-1 27.0 25 11 9 6 37 3.00
SPARTAN RECORD BREAKDOWN
Home 0-0 Away 4-4 Neutral 3-4 Day 5-6 Night 2-2 February 2-3 March 5-5 April 0-0 May 0-0 vs. LH starters 0-3 vs. RH starters 7-5 Conference 0-0 Non-conference 7-8 MSU scores first 5-3 Opponent scores first 2-5 One-run games 0-5 Two-run games 1-0 Game decided by more than 5 3-3 Extra-inning games 0-0 Double header record 1-0-2 When Mulder starts 2-2 When Murphy starts 1-3 When Zsigo starts 3-1 When Massey starts 1-1 When Steiger starts 0-1
UPCOMING CAREER MILESTONES
TED MAHAN, Head Coach Has 50 Wins 47 TOM GRIGG, SS, Sr. Has 200 Hits 169 30 Doubles 27 100 RBI 83 100 Walks 89 500 Assists 445 BRIAN MURPHY, P, Sr. Has 50 Games 42 15 Wins 12 250 Innings 244 150 Strikeouts 157 TOM HARTLEY, OF, Jr. Has 100 Games 81 100 Hits 81 50 RBI 40 MARK MULDER, P/1B, Jr. Has 50 Runs 51 100 Hits 76 50 RBI 46 10 Wins 9 100 Strikeouts - Pitching 93
1998 BIG TEN STANDINGS
(Games through 3/15) Team W L W L T Minnesota 0 0 14 3 0 Northwestern 0 0 8 3 0 Ohio State 0 0 7 4 0 Indiana 0 0 9 9 0 Penn State 0 0 8 9 0 Michigan State 0 0 7 8 0 Michigan 0 0 5 9 1 Purdue 0 0 5 9 0 Illinois 0 0 5 9 0 Iowa 0 0 2 7 0
AROUND THE BIG TEN: Minnesota continues to lead the conference with a 14-3 mark. The Golden Gophers are on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight. They take some time off, however, until they take on UW-Milwaukee on Mar. 24. Minnesota opens the Big Ten campaign on Mar. 27 at home vs. Purdue.
Northwestern, who earlier in the season knocked off two top ten teams (South Alabama and Texas Tech), is also on a four-game winning streak. The Wildcats will host the Buckeyes on Mar. 27 to open the conference portion of their schedule.
Preseason favorite Ohio State has won five of six, but had a three-game homestand vs. Pittsburgh on Mar. 13-14 rained out. The Buckeyes take their 7-4 mark and travel to Ft. Myers, Fla., for the Gene Cusic Tournament from Mar. 20-25, before returning home to face Northwestern.
Michigan suffered at the hands of the Southwestis finest, as the Wolverines have dropped six of their last seven. This included a three-game sweep by Houston, as UM lost their last five on the squadis spring trip to Texas.
SPARTAN SEASON HIGHS
INDIVIDUAL-HITTING HITS: 4, Albaugh (3/9) RUNS: 2, fifteen times RBI: 4, Albaugh (3/9) HR: 1, three times SB: 2, Pisani (3/7) INDIVIDUAL-PITCHING IP: 9.0, Mulder (3/7) ER: 8, Massey (3/10) BB: 4, two times SO: 16, Mulder (3/7) TEAM-HITTING HITS: 14, at Campbell (3/9) RUNS: 11, vs.Ohio (3/14) BB: 6, two times HR: 2, vs. Iowa (2/27) RUNS-INNING: 6, vs. Ohio (3/14) TEAM-PITCHING SO: 16, at Campbell (3/7) BB: 8, at Lamar (2/20) ER: 13, two times STARTS BY POSITION Gms W-L Pitcher Mark Mulder 4 2-2 Brian Murphy 4 1-3 Gary Zsigo 4 3-1 Kimya Massey 2 1-1 John Steiger 1 0-1 Catcher Joe Kalczynski 8 5-3 Carlos Fernandez 7 2-5 First Base Ryan Leson 8 5-3 Mark Mulder 4 1-3 Joe Kalczynski 3 1-2 Second Base Ted Demetral 15 7-8 Third Base Mike Pisani 13 7-6 Eric Doyle 2 0-2 Shortstop Tom Grigg 15 7-8 Left Field Joe Albaugh 14 7-7 Mark Mulder 1 0-1 Center Field Mike Wagner 15 7-8 Right Field Tom Hartley 9 5-4 Carlos Fernandez 4 2-2 Mike Pisani 2 0-2 Designated Hitter Mark Mulder 10 6-4 Gary Zsigo 4 1-3 Ryan Leson 1 0-1
LEADING SITUATIONAL HITTERS
(highest BA, min. 30 AB) Overall: .380, Mulder vs. LHP: .444, Mulder vs. RHP: .385, Fernandez Bases Empty: .391, Demetral Runners On: .409, Mulder Two Outs: .385, Wagner Scoring Pos.: .400, Leson LEADING PITCHING LEADERS (lowest BA against, min 30 BF) Overall: .207, Yens vs. LHP: .083, Brandell vs. RHP: .150, Yens Two Outs: .111, Reader Runners On: .211, Yens LEADERS Multiple-Hit games: Mark Mulder, 7 Multiple-RBI games: Mark Mulder/Tom Grigg, 3 Longest Hitting Streak: Mike Wagner, 9 Longest Current Streak: Ted Demetral/Tom Grigg, 4