Baseball Takes on Oakland at Eastern Michigan
 
 
 
Senior Andrew Waszak is 2-1 on the season.
 
Senior Andrew Waszak is 2-1 on the season.
 
 

March 21, 2013

Games 17-20: Michigan State (9-7) vs.Oakland (3-11)
 Dates Friday, March 22 - Sunday, March 24
 Location Ypsilanti, Mich. | Oestrike Stadium (2,500)
 Statistics Michigan State | Oakland
 Notes Michigan State
 Social Media Updates @statebaseball | Facebook

Game 1
 Date | Time Friday, March 22 | 3:05 p.m. ET
 Pitching Matchup MSU: Sr. RHP Andrew Waszak (2-1, 1.72 ERA) vs.
OU: R-Jr. LHP Jason Hager (0-2, 5.25 ERA)

Game 2
 Date | Time Saturday, March 23 | 1:05 p.m. ET
 Pitching Matchup MSU: Jr. RHP David Garner (4-0, 3.31 ERA) vs.
OU: R-So. RHP Jake Paulson (0-3, 3.91 ERA)

Game 3
 Date | Time Saturday, March 23 | 4:05 p.m. ET
 Pitching Matchup MSU: R- Jr. RHP Chase Rihtarchik (1-0, 2.89 ERA) vs.
OU: Jr. RHP Tim Koons (2-2, 3.46 ERA)

Game 4
 Date | Time Sunday, March 24 | 1:05 p.m. ET
 Pitching Matchup MSU: So. RHP Mick Van Vossen (1-1, 4.37 ERA) vs.
OU: So. RHP Chris Van Dyke (1-1, 3.5.90 ERA)

SPARTANS OPEN HOME SEASON AGAINST OAKLAND THIS WEEKEND
After opening the season with 16 games on the road, the Spartans return to their home state and will play a four-game set against Oakland (March 22-24) at Eastern Michigan this weekend. The move was made due to snow accumulation on Kobs Field at McLane Stadium. MSU and OU will begin the series on Friday, at 3:05 p.m., play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:05 p.m., then conclude the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Michigan State is coming off its first series sweep of the season, taking three games from Santa Clara last weekend. MSU had 42 hits over the weekend and each starting pitcher earned the win for the Spartans.The Spartans had a season-high 19 hits in the first game of the doubleheader against Santa Clara, a 7-5 win. Cam Gibson, Ryan Krill and Blaise Salter each came through with 4-hit games for MSU.

Michigan State owns the series record against Oakland 28-3. OU is 3-11 on the season, they lost to Dayton twice and split a pair of games with Buffalo last weekend. The Golden Grizzlies finished last season 25-32 and finished second in the Summit League with a 15-6 mark. Kyle Bolbots and Jared Theisen lead OU at the plate, both are batting .283.

MSU senior right-hander Andrew Waszak will get the call for the Spartans on Friday in the series opener. Waszak earned the win and allowed just three hits and no runs in seven innings against the Broncos. He is fifth in the Big Ten with a 1.72 ERA this season and fourth in opponent batting average (.207).

Junior right-hander David Garner (4-0) gets the nod in the first game on Saturday. Garner allowed three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings on the mound and also added six strikeouts in game two against Santa Clara. He is second ins strikeouts (28) and tied for first in wins (4).

In the second game on Saturday, redshirt junior Chase Rihtarchik will get the start for MSU and sophomore Mick VanVossen will get the start on Sunday.

QUOTING COACH BOSS
On the sweep at Santa Clara...
"Good weekend for us out in California. I think our guys played probably as well as we have all year long in all three phases. I think we pitched well, swung the bats extremely well, and played outstanding defense. I think we made one error in three games out there, scored 22 runs, and had 42 hits in three games and once again pitched very well. All in all it was a good weekend and we had good weather which may have helped us a little bit offensively and give us a chance to break out. I think we were most pleased with showing signs of making some adjustments finally from one game to the next and even one inning to the next or even during an at bat. We had a lot of guys starting to make some adjustments and starting to feel a little more comfortable at the plate and it really showed. We hit the ball all over the park, we hit some home runs, and we hit some doubles, and were more threatening offensively than we have been all year long."

On the Oakland series...
"We have Oakland coming up this weekend. They are a team that has always played hard. John Musachio is a former assistant coach here at Michigan State and does a great job with that team. They had a tough schedule, especially early on, so they are going to be ready to play. There are a lot of local guys and a lot of Michigan guys on that team and our guys are very familiar with them and vice versa. We know that we are going to get their best effort and like I said, John always has those guys playing hard. We will see what happens with the weather and the field and things of that nature, but I'm looking forward to getting back into the state and hopefully playing at home this weekend."

On the hitters approach...
"I think we have a lot of young guys that are starting to buy in a little bit more which is good to see. I think they are starting to see some of the fruits of their labor, so to speak. I think that coming in, especially with young guys, everybody has been telling them how good they have been for a long time so it is tough to make those adjustments. We have to get them to understand that this is a different level and in order to be successful at this level, there are a lot of guys who need to do things differently than they did in high school and I think some of those guys are really starting to buy into that. Understanding the game a little bit more, how we are being pitched, locations and counts, and where the breaking balls are being thrown and things like that. We have tried to self-scout ourselves and give our guys a little bit of a scouting report on themselves so that they can understand why this is happening and why a kid hits a line drive right at the left fielder and why that left fielder is playing there. I think that we are starting to learn more about the game and I think that's translating into the work ethic and guys understanding what they need to do to be successful and in turn its starting to happen on the field. Hopefully we can use that as a springboard to further our success."

On what there is to like so far about the season...
"Well, again we got great kids. They are fun to be around, they compete, we are running on a lot of young guys that are learning more and more every day when they play. So, those three things combined make it a fun ball club to be around. I think there is some talent out there it's going to be exciting to watch how much better we can continue to get as the season rolls on. We have played sixteen games; there are forty more to go. And so the sky is the limit for these guys. Guys like Cam Gibson really had a good weekend for us and really started to turn a corner for us offensively there. Just watching them grow, just watching them understand the game, there a lot of things in our game that they just have to figure it out for themselves. And the only way to do that is to play."

Thoughts on freshman Outfielder Cam Gibson leading off...
"Well, he runs so well that he can be a difference maker, whether he goes 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. He seems to find his way on base, and when he is on base he makes things happen. I think as a freshman he has an advanced knowledge of strike zone. Where he doesn't really chase many bad pitches, he did on a couple last weekend. I think overall he has a pretty good understanding of where the ball is located and what's a strike and what's not. He is able to get deep into counts and when he makes contact he is always a threat because he runs so well.

On the play of sophomore outfielder Anthony Cheky...
Yeah it does, Tony is the kind of kid that's extremely aggressive. Which is great, I like that, he hasn't walked a whole lot. For a leadoff hitter we need that guy on base. Cam's on base percentage is very good. Where it fits all together this weekend we will see. We have had the luxury of being a little deeper now when a guy goes down or gets hurt or was sick like Joel was last weekend. We can plug him in there or one of the two. So, when everybody is healthy we will see how it all shakes out. But again it gives us some depth, it gives us some opportunities to do some stuff at the end of the game with a pitch hitter or pitch runner that we haven't had for a while.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Oakland (3-11)
• Lost three of its last four games, two to Dayton and one to Buffalo.
• Led offensively by Jared Theisen and Kyle Bobolts, both batting .283.
• Nolan Jacoby was named Summit League Player of the Week on March 11.
• Tim Koons also earner Pitcher of the Week on March 11.

Series History vs. Oakland MSU leads, 28-3 Last meeting: MSU 8, OU 2 (April 10, 2012)