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Spartans Host Huskers In Weekend B1G Series

April 5, 2018

MICHIGAN STATE (7-19, 1-5 B1G) vs. NEBRASKA (14-14, 2-4 B1G)
Location McLane Stadium at Kobs Field | East Lansing, Mich.
Admission | Promotions Fri/Sat/Sun: Adults: $5 / Youth/Senior (18 & under, 55+): $3 / MSU Students: Free w/ ID MSU Ticket Office | Sat: Strikeout MD Day 
Weather Fri: High/Low - 47/32 | Sat: 48/23
Game Notes  Michigan State | Nebraska
Social Media    @statebaseball   |  MichiganStateBaseball @statebaseballgogreen  
Game 1 Friday, April 6 - 3:05 p.m.
Probable Pitching Matchup MSU: RHP #7 Ethan Landon (SR) (0-5, 2.98 ERA) vs. NEB: RHP #19 Luis Alvarado (SR) (2-2, 3.29 ERA)
Coverage GameTracker  |  Listen Live - Spartan Sports Network  |  Watch Live - BTN2Go
Game 2 Saturday, April 7 - 1:05 p.m.
Probable Pitching Matchup MSU: RHP #30 Mason Erla (RS-FR) (4-1, 2.61 ERA) vs. NEB: RHP #10 Matt Waldron (JR) (2-2, 4.18 ERA)
Coverage GameTracker  | Listen Live - Spartan Sports Network  |  Watch Live - BTN2Go
Game 3 Sunday, April 8 - 11:05 a.m.
Probable Pitching Matchup MSU: TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. NEB: RHP #34 Matt Warren (SR) (3-2, 5.79 ERA)
Coverage GameTracker  |  Listen Live - Spartan Sports Network  |  Watch Live - BTN2Go


Leading Off... Spartans Host Huskers In Weekend B1G Series
• Michigan State baseball hosts Nebraska in a three-game weekend Big Ten Conference series Friday-Sunday, April 6-8 at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field. The Spartans and Cornhuskers open the weekend on Friday at 3:05 p.m., followed by Saturday at 1:05 p.m., with Sunday's series finale slated for 11:05 a.m. to accommodate Nebraska's travel schedule. Saturday is Strikeout MD Day at the ballpark.

• MSU is returning to action after Wednesday's game against in-state foe Eastern Michigan was postponed due to inclement weather.

• The Spartans are in the midst of a 12-game homestand that opened last Wednesday against WMU. The 12 home games in a row is the longest homestand since 2000 when Michigan State had 14-straight home contests. The 26 total home games are the most since 2005 when MSU also had 26.

• Fans can follow the Spartan-Cornhusker battle through "Live Stats," "Listen Live" and "Watch Live" links found at MSUSpartans.com. Action between Michigan State and Nebraska will be video streamed on BTN2Go, and will also be carried on the Spartan Sports Network live audio stream. The broadcast will be available exclusively at SpartanSportsNetwork.com and on the network's 24/7 app for mobile devices (available on iTunes and Google Play). Broadcast veteran Scott Moore calls the action alongside Jake Boss Sr. in select games.

Strikeout MD
Saturday is the Fourth-Annual Strikeout MD Day at the ballpark with accessible carnival games, face painting and poster making, along with other activities outside the stadium to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. Earns 300th Victory For MSU
MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. earned his 300th victory at the helm of the Spartans with MSU's 6-0 blanking of Rutgers on Sunday. Last season, Boss won his 300th career game as a collegiate head coach. In his 10th season as the MSU head coach, Boss now has a 300-222 (.575) record, coaching his 500th game leading the Spartans in the opening weekend at Fresno State. Boss is also in his 11th overall season as a collegiate head coach and has a 325-256 (.559) ledger.

Boss is the fourth head coach in the Spartans' history to reach the 300-win plateau, and reached 300 wins the fastest of the previous coaches, as Boss is in his 10th season at the helm.

Name Years Wins
John H. Kobs 1935-63 576
Daniel W. Litwhiler 1964-82 489
Thomas W. Smith 1983-95 377
Jake Boss Jr. 2009-pres. 300

Home Staters
Michigan State has 21 players on its 2018 roster from the state of Michigan, while the Cornhuskers have 12 players from Nebraska on their roster. Neither MSU or Nebraska have any players from the opposite state.

Series History
Despite first meeting in 1937, the Spartans and Cornhuskers have a fairly short series, meeting just 16 times before this weekend. Nebraska leads the all-time series, 10-6, winning last year's series in Lincoln, two games to one. After MSU won the opener, 6-3, Nebraska bounced back to win the second game, 5-2, and hung on for an 8-7 win in the finale. This is the fourth series as Big Ten Conference foes, as Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. After the first meeting in 1937 in East Lansing, the Spartans and Cornhuskers didn't meet again until 1982, meeting in Edinburg, Texas. MSU and Nebrasksa didn't meet in the 2011 season or the 2012 regular-season, but their first meeting as B1G foes was in the 2012 B1G Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans and Cornhuskers have split the last eight meetings, 4-4.

Michigan State vs. Nebraska Series Breakdown
Overall: NEB 10-6 / H: 2-5 / A: 1-2 / N: 3-3 / Series Streak: NEB W2
First Met: June 12, 1937 - East Lansing, Mich. - MSU W, 6-0
Last Meeting: May 14, Lincoln, Neb. - NEB W, 8-7

Nail-Biters
Just like last season, Spartan fans may have paid for their entire seat, but they have only needed the edge of them so far this season, as 14 of MSU's 26 games of the 2018 season have been 1-run or 2-run games, with the Spartans posting a 2-6 mark in the eight 1-run contests, as well as six other 2-run games, which MSU is 1-5. Last season, Michigan State was involved in a total of 17 1-run games, as well as three 2-run games. MSU was 5-12 in 1-run games and 3-0 in 2-run contests.

The eight 1-run games is the six-most in the country (according to research collection by Chris Rash of Elon), and also fifth-most by percentage, as Fresno State has been involved in 12 1-run games, while Elon and UMass Lowell have 11. Michigan State played Fresno State in the opening weekend of the season and three of the four games of the weekend series were 1-run games.

The Spartans have also played a total of 14 games decided by two runs or less, which is the third-most in the country and third by percentage. Along with the eight 1-run games, MSU lost to No. 10 Clemson, 9-7, on March 7; beat Illinois, 4-2, on March 10; lost to Niagara, 12-10, on March 18; lost to Central Michigan, 3-1, on March 21; Michigan, 3-1, on March 24 and Rutgers, 6-4, on March 30.

One-Run Games
Fresno State 12 of 27 games (44.4%)
UMass Lowell 11 of 24 games (45.8%)
Elon 11 of 28 games (39.3%)
Fordham 10 of 24 games (41.7%)
Arizona 10 of 27 games (37.0%)
Michigan State 8 of 26 games (30.8%)
Loyola Marymount 8 of 27 games (29.6%)
Virginia Tech 7 of 26 games (26.9%)
UNCW 6 of 27 games (22.2%)
Coastal Carolina 6 of 30 games (20.0%)

Games Decided by 1-2 Runs
Elon 18 of 28 games (64.3%)
Fordham 16 of 24 games (66.7%)
Michigan State 14 of 26 games (53.8%)
Fresno State 14 of 27 games (51.9%)
Loyola Marymount 14 of 27 games (50.0%)
UMass Lowell 12 of 24 games (51.9%)
Arizona 11 of 27 games (40.7%)
Coastal Carolina 11 of 30 games (36.7%)
UNCW 11 of 27 games (40.7%)
Virginia Tech 11 of 26 games (42.3%)

Spartan Hurlers Ringing Up The Strikeouts
As a staff, Michigan State pitchers are tied for fourth in the B1G in strikeouts with 207, as well as fourth in the league in strikeouts per nine innings (8.2) and fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.93).

Senior Ethan Landon and junior Riley McCauley are both ranked in the top 11 of the B1G for striekouts. Landon is third with 40 and McCauley is tied for 11th with 36. Redshirt-freshman Mason Erla is just outside the top 15 at No. 16 with 34 Ks.

McCauley-ing Lots Of Strikes
MSU junior pitcher Riley McCauley fired a career-high 12 strikeouts in the loss at Fresno State in his first-ever start on Feb. 16. After making 25 relief appearances last season, McCauley made the first start of his career and went 6.0 complete, allowing just one run on two hits, walking two and firing a career-high 12 strikeouts. McCauley becomes the first MSU pitcher with 12+ Ks since Cam Vieaux chalked up 13 vs. UConn, March 15, 2015.

McCauley's 12 strikeouts is currently tied for the most in a single-game so far this season in the Big Ten, joined by Jonathan Stiever of Indiana (vs. Pacific on March 9) and Tyler Blohm of Maryland (vs. Stetson on March 24).

The Spartan hurler is tied for 11th in the B1G with 36 total strikeouts this season. McCauley is also tied for 18th in the league in innings pitched with 39.1 IP.

Landon-ing It In The Strike Zone
Spartan senior hurler Ethan Landon has rung up a career-high tying nine strikeouts twice now, first posting nine punchouts in 6.2 IP at Fresno State on Feb. 17, then doing so in 8.0 IP vs. Michigan on March 24. Landon also has struck out six in three different games, giving him six or more Ks in five of his six outings.

Landon is third in the B1G with 44 strikeouts, as well as third in innings pitched with 45.1 IP, along with 11th in the league in ERA at 2.98.

Mason Mowing `Em Down
MSU redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla is third in the B1G in opposing batting average at .199, one of three pitchers in the league holding the opposition bats under .200.

With an ERA of 2.61, Erla leads the MSU pitching staff and ranks seventh in the B1G in ERA. Erla has four wins this season, leading the Spartan staff and ranking tied for third in the B1G.

Erla is also 10th in the conference in innings pitched at 41.1 IP, as well as 17th in the B1G in strikeouts with 34 punchouts. For the season, Erla is 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA, logging 34 strikeouts in 41.1 IP.

Erla has started and gone 6.0+ IP in both of MSU's shutouts this season. He fired six Ks last Sunday vs. Rutgers, which were his second-highest outing of the season behind his career-best nine vs. Niagara on March 17, and he now has five or more punchouts in three of the last four outings.

Erla Earning Awards
MSU redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla has made a smashing return to action from a season-ending injury last February. Erla has been extra effective in his four starts, most recently on March 10 in Greenville, stymieing Illinois with just one hit allowed in 6.1 IP, striking out five to earn the win on the way to being named B1G Freshman of the Week.

Nearly Noneski By Tyranksi
MSU sophomore relief pitcher Mitchell Tyranski has a 0.92 ERA in 12 appearances so far this season, allowing just two earned runs. He has a streak of four appearances without allowing a run as part of 10 of 12 appearances total.

Tyranski made his first start of his career on March 7 vs. No. 10 Clemson, and went 3.2 IP without a run and stymieing the high-powered Clemson offense to just one hit, while striking out three.

In 12 appearances, Tyranski now has 19.2 IP this season, with 19 strikeouts and allowing just 10 hits and two earned runs, holding opposition bats to a paltry .156. Tyranski would lead the B1G in both ERA and opposing batting average, but he doesn't reach the minimum requirement for innings pitched.

Tyranski earned his first collegiate victory in MSU's 5-2 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 24, going 4.1 IP, grounding the Waves' bats allowing just one hit, while striking out five and walking just one, in picking up his first win of his career.

He picked up his first career save in the 4-2 victory for MSU over Illinois on March 10, going 1.1 IP with just one hit and one strikeout.

Chalking Up The Ks
Michigan State's pitching staff bolted out of the gates by firing a season-high 17 strikeouts in the 5-4 loss at Fresno State in the season-opener on Feb. 16, the Spartans' most Ks since firing 19 punchouts vs. Campbell on March 17, 2017.

The Spartans have seven double-digit strikeout outings, including in four of the last six games, adding 12 in two games against Niagara, adding 11 vs. Fresno State on Feb. 17, 11 vs. Pepperdine on Feb. 24, 11 vs. Michigan on March 24 and 10 vs. Illinois on March 9 as well as 10 vs. Central Michigan on March 21.

Kelley-ing The Basepaths
Sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley leads the B1G and ranks tied for third in the NCAA in stolen bases, swiping 19 bases so far on the season. Kelley nearly doubled his season output in the Niagara series, swiping six in the four games, including two each on March 15 and 16 before swiping five in the three games vs. Michigan.

Kelley has stolen at least one base in nine of the last 11 games, as part of 14 total games this season. He has multi stolen bases in four games, led by a career-high three at Michigan on March 23.

The three stolen bases in one game marks the second time this season that a Spartan has swiped three in a game, joining Danny Gleaves with three base swipes vs. Illinois on March 9 in Greenville.

Gleaves-ing A Vapor Trail
Sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves isn't too far behind Kelley with 11 base swipes, ranking tied for third in the B1G and tied for 74th in the NCAA, boosted by swiping three vs. Illinois on March 9, as well as two on two different occasions, at Fresno State on Feb. 17 and vs. Illinois on March 10.

Gleaves became the first Spartan to swipe three bases in a game since former teammate Brandon Hughes stole three vs. Central Michigan on May 16, 2017. Kelley recently joined Gleaves in the three base swipe outing.

Spartans Swiping `Em Up
Michigan State enters the weekend leading the B1G and ranking seventh in the NCAA in stolen bases with 60, boosted by swiping eight against Niagara on March 15. Overall, the Spartans stole 18 stolen bases in the four-game series with the Purple Eagles, swiping five on March 17. MSU is also first in the league and seventh in the nation in stolen bases per game (2.45 spg).

MSU has now swiped three or more bases in nine games this season, as along with the two games with eight and five swipes vs. Niagara, the Spartans had five base swipes in two other contests, first in the second game of the doubleheader at Fresno State on Feb. 17, and the second vs. Furman on March 9.

Individually, sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley leads the conference and ranks tied for third in the country with 19 stolen bases, while fellow sophomore outfielders Danny Gleaves and Justin Antoncic are tied for third and tied for eighth in the conference with 11 and 10 swipes, respectively. Junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski is tied for 14th with seven stolen bases.

Triple Threat
MSU leads the Big Ten and ranks 38th in the NCAA in triples with nine. The Spartans' total was boosted by a stretch of three-straight games with a triple (March 17-21), as well as a span of five in six games (March 10-21). Michigan State also had two triples in the three-game series vs. Rutgers (March 30-April 1).

All-Around Antoncic
Spartan sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic leads MSU with a .311 average, as well as leading the team with four doubles, while sharing the team lead with 11 walks.

With two triples, Antoncic is also second on the team and tied for fifth in the B1G and tied for 81st in the NCAA. Antoncic is also tied for eighth in the league in stolen bases (10) and tied for fifth in sacrifice flies (3) in the overall league stats.

Antoncic also owns MSU's longest hitting streak of six games, as well as the Spartans' longest reached base streak of 12 games. Entering this week, Antoncic has an eight-game reached base streak in tact, tied with senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly for the longest current streak. Antoncic also enters the week with a four-game hitting streak, including multiple hits in two of those outings, giving him eight multi-hit outings this season, tied for the team lead.

All-Tournament Accolades For Antoncic
Spartan sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic was named to the Dairy Queen Classic B1G/Pac-12 Challenge All-Tournament Team. Antoncic hit .462 for the weekend, including his first home run of his Spartan career off No. 11 UCLA, adding two doubles. He also posted the first three-hit outing of his career going 3-for-4 vs. Arizona, and also made a career-high six putouts in the field. He was also part of MSU's three-run ninth inning rally for a 3-2 walkoff win over Arizona on Sunday, with a single and later scored the tying run. Antoncic also extended his hit streak to five-straight games, with multi-hit games in the last two outings.

McGuire Mashing
Senior first baseman Zack McGuire is hitting .412 (14-for-34) in his last nine games, including .500 (5-for-10) in the Rutgers series, with a 1.000 slugging percentage. He belted a two-run home run and added two doubles, logging four RBI.

McGuire has raised his average from .175 on March 17 to its present .284. For the season, McGuire leads the Spartans and is 20th in the B1G with three home runs, as well as sharing the team-lead with 12 RBI. He also is second on the squad with a .432 slugging percentage.

Chmashing Chmielewski
Junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski went 7-for-16 (.438) in the four games against Niagara, with two doubles and two triples, rapping an extra base hit in each game. Chmielewski finished with seven RBI, including four in the series opener, with three coming on a bases-loaded double as part of a five-run inning for the Spartans, boosting them to a 10-1 win.

For the season, Chmielewski is hitting .267, sharing the team lead with 12 RBI and topping the team with three triples and three doubles. The three triples is tied for the B1G lead and tied for 26th in the NCAA, while also sharing the B1G lead and ranking tied for 29th in the NCAA for triples per game (0.13).

Chmielewski had an on-base streak of 10-straight games, which is the second-longest of the season for MSU, behind Justin Antoncic's 12-game stretch.

Two-Run Thunder
Michigan State has eight home runs so far this season and six of them are of the 2-run variety, including three in the opening weekend, adding one at Pepperdine, one vs. Niagara and one against Rutgers. Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly belted the Spartans' first home run of the season, blasting a two-run home run to left field in the eighth inning, capping a four-run frame for the Spartans. Sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antoncic belted the first round-tripper of his Spartan career in the loss to UCLA.

All four of MSU's runs in the 5-4 loss at Fresno State on Feb. 18 came via the long ball, with a pair of two-run home runs by junior third baseman Marty Bechina and senior first baseman Zack McGuire.

Bechina added a two-run round-tripper at Pepperdine on Feb. 24, after Roskelly had a solo shot the day before. Bechina and Roskelly share the team lead with two home runs each, ranking tied for 14th in the B1G. Against Niagara, McGuire belted a two-run round-tripper over the wall in right and into the Red Cedar River for MSU's first home run at home this season. McGuire struck again with a two-run shot vs. Rutgers.

Streaking Spartans
Sophomore outfielder/infielder Justin Antoncic and senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly enter the week with four-game hitting streaks in tow, while senior first baseman Zack McGuire has hit safely in the last three games ... Antoncic owns MSU's longest streak this season at six games ... junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski and sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley are two of four Spartans who had five-game streaks, with both being halted by going hitless vs. Central Michigan on March 21 ... Antoncic's hitting streak was halted on March 9 vs. Illinois, but he has a hit in 12 of the last 17 games as part of a hit in 15 of the 22 games this season ... freshman infielder Ryan King and freshman utility player Zach Iverson are the other two Spartans with five-game hit streaks ... Along with Chmielewski's 10-game reached base streak that was halted last weekend, Kelley had a seven-game reached base streak ... Antoncic and Roskelly also bring eight-game reached base streaks into the week, while McGurie has reached base safely in the last three games ... King and Antoncic lead the Spartans with eight multiple hit games, with King having all two-hit games, while Antoncic has seven two-hit outings and a three-hit game ... Chmielewski is next with seven games, with six two-hit games and a three-hit outing, followed by Kelley with six, posting four two-hit games and two three-hit outings ... junior infielder Royce Ando has the most hits in game this season for MSU with four hits vs. No. 10 Clemson on March 7.

Late Inning Scoreboard Lighting
Of Michigan State's 91 runs scored this season, a combined 51 runs have been scored after the fifth inning, plating 10 runs in the sixth, 12 in the seventh, 20 in the eighth and nine in the ninth.

Those numbers are bolstered by the Spartans' four-run eighth inning of game one of the opening weekend at Fresno State, adding one run in the first game of the doubleheader on Feb. 17. MSU scored two runs in the eighth against Washington on March 2. The Spartans scored three in the eighth vs. Niagara on March 15.

MSU had a big sixth inning on Feb. 24 at Pepperdine, plating four runs. The Spartans also plated two runs in the sixth frame at Fresno State on Feb. 18.

Up Next
Michigan State wraps up its 12-game homestand next week with four non-conference games against teams from Indiana, opening with Notre Dame on Tuesday, April 13 in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. First pitch from McLane Stadium at Kobs Field is slated for 3:05 p.m. The Spartans then host Valparaiso in a three-game non-conference series Friday-Sunday, April 13-15. The Spartans-Crusaders clash opens on Friday at 3:05, followed by Saturday and Sunday with 1:05 p.m. start times. While Tuesday will be the 136th all-time meeting between Michigan State and Notre Dame, last meeting a year ago, MSU has only nine previous meetings with Valparaiso, with the last match-up coming in 1994.

Scouting Nebraska
The Cornhuskers are 14-14 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten Conference competition. Like MSU, Nebraska's midweek game was postponed due to inclement weather, as the Cornhuskers were slated to play at Omaha on Tuesday. Nebraska is coming off three-game B1G road series at Ohio State. The Cornhuskers won the opener, 7-3, on Friday, but then dropped Saturday's game 7-4 and were edged, 15-14, Sunday.

Nebraska is batting .264 as a team, led by senior outfielder Scott Schreiber at .389 with a team-leading nine doubles, nine HR and 28 RBI. Schreiber is second in the B1G in HR, tied for second in hits (44), third in avg., third in slugging percentage (.708) and fourth in RBI. Fellow senior outfielder Zac Repinski is hitting .315 with 10 RBI and five doubles, along with being on of three Cornhuskers with a team-leading three stolen bases.

On the mound, the Nebraska pitching staff has a team ERA of 5.07, with 178 strikeouts (6.4 pg) and 102 walks (3.6 pg) and opponents are hitting .297. Friday's slated starter is senior right-hander Luis Alvarado, who has a 2-2 record with a 3.29 ERA in seven starts, with a team-leading 41.0 IP, with 39 strikeouts and 13 walks, with an opposition batting average of .247. Saturday's probable starter is junior righty Matt Waldron, who has a 2-2 record with a 4.18 ERA in five starts with 10 appearances, posting 21 Ks and two walks in 28.0 IP, with opponents hitting .367 off him. Senior righty Matt Warren is Sunday's probable starter, with a 3-2 mark with a 5.79 ERA in seven starts, with 32.2 IP, 24 strikeouts, 10 walks and a .288 opposition batting average. Senior right-hander Jake Hohensee has a team-best six saves with a paltry 0.87 ERA with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 10.1 IP in nine appearances.

Former Major Leaguer Darin Erstad is in his seventh season at the helm of the Cornhuskers, posting a 225-155-1 record.

Last Weekend Recap
The Spartans were topped by Rutgers in a three-game series, falling 8-4 and 6-4 in Friday's doubleheader after inclement weather adjusted the schedule. Saturday's game was postponed due to weather before MSU and RU wrapped up their series on Sunday, with the Spartans blanking the Scarlet Knights, 6-0, for Michigan State head coach Jake Boss Jr.'s 300th victory for MSU, becoming the fifth head coach in the Spartans' storied history to reach the 300-win plateau.

Erla 10 Innings Big Ten Freshman Of The Week
Spartans redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla was the 10 Innings Big Ten Freshman of the Week after his performance in Michigan State's 1-0 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 25. Erla went 5.0 IP with four strikeouts and allowed just two hits with no walks, retiring the last 11 of 13 batters faced to earn his first collegiate win.

Roskelly Walk-Off Repeat
Spartan senior catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Chad Roskelly drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off fielder's choice in the 3-2 come-from-behind victory for MSU over Arizona on March 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Roskelly plated senior infielder Kory Young with the winning run, beating out the throw to first for the game-winner.

That was the Spartans' first walk-off victory since a 7-6 win over Western Michigan last season on May 10, 2017 at Comerica Park, and was identical as it was also on a walk-off fielder's choice and off the bat of Roskelly, with him beating out the throw at first in both wins.

Roskelly is one of three players in the country (according to available research) to drive in walkoff game-winning runs in identical fashion, joining Kyle Kasser from Oregon along with Nick Dalesandro of Purdue.

Roskelly - Michigan State - Fielder's Choice
1) vs. Western Michigan (2017)
2) vs. Arizona (2018)

Kasser - Oregon - Walk
1) vs. Oregon State (2015)
2) vs. Mississippi State (2017)

Dalesandro - Purdue - Single
1) vs. Cal State Northridge (2016)
2) vs. Incarnate Word (2018)

Three MSU Baseball Players Collect Big Ten Preseason Plaudits
Michigan State had three players on the Big Ten Conference Preseason Players to Watch List, as the conference announced its preseason honors list and preseason poll on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

The league's coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three student-athletes from their own squads to a Preseason Honors list.

MSU Preseason Honorees included sophomore outfielder/pitcher Bryce Kelley, senior pitcher Jake Lowery and junior pitcher Riley McCauley.

Kelley, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American last season, becoming the eighth Freshman All-American at MSU and the second under head coach Jake Boss Jr. to earn Freshman All-America accolades, joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team, and was also the B1G Freshman of the Week. He was Michigan State's starting left fielder in all 24 B1G games, playing in 41 games overall with 38 starts, and led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average.

He hit safely in 22 of 24 conference games, featuring a pair of 10-game hitting streaks in conference only action, with 20 in last 21 league contests, ending the 2017 season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games. Kelley also tied for 17th in the B1G with 13 stolen bases, ranking tied for 11th in the conference only stats with six swipes.

Lowery, a Howell, Michigan native, made 22 appearances including four starts, logging a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 IP. He ranked second on the MSU pitching staff and ninth in the B1G with 70 strikeouts, as well as leading the Spartans and ranking ninth in the B1G with 21 strikeouts looking. Lowery also ranked 10th in league for strikeouts in conference only games with 37 Ks, as well as tied for 11th with 11 batters struck out looking. After coming out of bullpen in his first 18 appearances, Lowery made four-straight starts.

Lowery's bullpen highlights included earning a split shutout, pitching 2.1 IP with three strikeouts in 2-0 win over Ohio State (April 14). Lowery fired a combined 20 strikeouts in two-consecutive outings without an earned run, first chalking up a career-best 11 strikeouts in 5.2 IP in a no decision at Northwestern (April 28) and followed that with nine Ks in 7.2 IP vs. Iowa (May 6). Lowery added eight strikeouts in 3.0 IP without an earned run vs. Campbell (March 17), one of his four outings of 3.0 IP or more without an earned run.

McCauley is a native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and appeared in 25 games last season as a reliever, is shifting to a starting role this season. Last year he posted a team-leading nine saves, which ranked tied for fourth in B1G and tied for 59th in the NCAA. The nine saves tied for the third on the MSU single-season saves list (since 1986). For the season, McCauley posted a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 IP with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He ranked 13th in the B1G in conference only games with 33 strikeouts in league play, and also tied for third in both appearances and games in relief in conference only games with 13.

He earned a save in his first five appearances, picking up his first career save in MSU's 9-7 win at Abilene Christian (Feb. 18), with 1.2 IP, one strikeout and no earned runs. He also collected a pair of saves in as many outings at UNC-Greensboro, in the 5-4 win on Feb. 24, with two Ks in 1.0 IP and the 22-16 victory on Feb. 25 with 1.1 IP and one K. McCauley fired three or more strikeouts in eight outings, led by a career-high six Ks in career-high tying 3.0 IP at Michigan (May 19), and added five punchouts at Nebraska (May 14). He opened the season with streak of 6.2 IP without an earned run and later had stretch of 12.1 IP.

Hello Home
The Spartans' 2018 slate includes a 12-game homestand as part of 26 total home games at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium. The 12 home games in a row is the longest homestand since 2000 when Michigan State had 14-straight home contests, while the 26 total home games are the most since 2005 when MSU also had 26.

Road Ready
Michigan State opened the season with its first 14 games away from home, including beginning with seven true road games followed by seven neutral games.

McCauley McMoving
Junior right hander Riley McCauley has moved into a starting role after coming out of the bullpen last season as the Spartans' closer. McCauley made all 25 appearances as a reliever last season, registering a team-leading nine saves, which ranked tied for fourth in B1G and tied for 59th in the NCAA.

Two Of Spartans' Five All-Big Ten Honorees Return in `18
Two of Michigan State's five players that All-Big Ten accolades last season return in 2018 in designated hitter Chad Roskelly, who was tabbed to the All-Big Ten second team list, while outfielder Bryce Kelley was named to the all-freshman team.

Roskelly, a Macomb, Mich., native, played in 39 games, starting 29, all as designated hitter last season. He was third on the team with a .324 average and posted 24 RBI with three HR and six doubles. Roskelly tallied a .463 slugging percentage and a .427 on-base percentage, which would have tied for ninth in the B1G but he just missed the minimum requirement.

After starting the season slow after recovering from an injury, Roskelly ended the 2017 season with a hit in 13 of last 14 games, including a 13-game hit streak from April 28 - May 18. The 13-game hitting streak was tied for second-longest on the team. Roskelly hit .379 (22-for-58) over the last 15 games of the season with 14 RBI in the span, along with a .522 slugging percentage and a .433 on-base percentage, which raised his average from .260 entering April 28 to finish with a .344 average. He ended the season on an MSU-best 17-game on base streak. Roskelly had eight multi-hit games, including four contests with four hits.

Kelley, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American last season, becoming the eighth Freshman All-American at MSU and the second under head coach Jake Boss Jr. to earn Freshman All-America accolades, joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team, and was also the B1G Freshman of the Week. He was Michigan State's starting left fielder in all 24 B1G games, playing in 41 games overall with 38 starts, and led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average.

He hit safely in 22 of 24 conference games, featuring a pair of 10-game hitting streaks in conference only action, with 20 in last 21 league contests, ending the 2017 season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games. Kelley also tied for 17th in the B1G with 13 stolen bases, ranking tied for 11th in the conference only stats with six swipes.

Kelley Freshman All-American
Michigan State's Bryce Kelley was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American. Kelley became MSU's eighth Freshman All-American and second under head coach Jake Boss Jr., joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. A native of Rockford, Michigan, Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team and earned MSU's Steve Garvey Most Improved Player award. Kelley led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average. Kelley ended the season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games.

A Numbers Game
In 2017, MSU's offense led the Big Ten in on-base percentage (.378), while ranking second in the B1G in batting average (.290), second in slugging percentage (.440), on-base percentage (.378), doubles (113) and stolen base attempts (123), along with ranking third in stolen bases (96). The 96 stolen bases was the second-most in school history. On the mound, an MSU pitcher has led the B1G in ERA in both overall and conference games the last two seasons. Walter Borkovich led the B1G with a 2.01 overall ERA and a 0.64 ERA in league games in 2017. Additionally, MSU has posted its top three strikeout totals in school history in the last three seasons with 409 strikeouts in 2015, 466 punchouts in 2016 and 420 in 2017.

Spartan Roster Breakdown
Michigan State's 2018 roster consists of eight seniors, six juniors, nine sophomores and 10 freshmen. The Spartan seniors include returning All-B1G honoree catcher/first baseman Chad Roskelly, along with Preseason B1G Honoree Jake Lowery, as well as pitchers Ethan Landon, Andrew Gonzalez and Keegan Baar, plus first baseman Zack McGuire, catcher Will Salter and infielder Kory Young.

Highlighting the juniors is pitcher Riley McCauley, who was a Preseason B1G Honoree, along with infielders Marty Bechina and Royce Ando, along with outfielder Dan Chmielewski. The junior class added a pair of junior college transfers in pitcher Evan Flohr and catcher Nic Lacayo.

The sophomore class is headlined by returning Freshman All-American and Preseason B1G honoree Bryce Kelley, as well as outfielder Danny Gleaves, infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic and pitchers Mitchelle Tyranski, Mike Mokma, Sam Benschoter, Matt Clark and Caleb Sleeman. A new sophomore to the Spartans' roster is junior college transfer Bailey Peterson, who will see action both at infield and outfield.

The freshmen class has three redshirt-freshmen in pitchers Mason Erla and Zac Bianucci along with outfielder Joe Stewart. The true freshmen group includes utility player Zach Iverson, along with pitcher Jesse Heikkinen, infielders Ryan King, Brendan Regan and Peter Ahn, along with catchers Adam Proctor and Scott Combs.

Now Pitching For The Spartans...
Michigan State utilized 14 different pitchers last season, with 11 of them posting 10 or more, and five with 20+ appearances. Of those five pitchers with 20 or more appearances, two of them return in senior Jake Lowery and junior Riley McCauley. Last season, McCauley made 25 appearances, all in relief. He logged a team-leading nine saves, which ranked tied for fourth in B1G and tied for 59th in the NCAA. The nine saves tied for the third on the MSU single-season saves list (since 1986). For the season, McCauley posted a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 IP with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He ranked 13th in the B1G in conference only games with 33 strikeouts in league play, and also tied for third in both appearances and games in relief in conference only games with 13.

Lowery made 22 appearances including four starts, logging a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 IP. He ranked second on the MSU pitching staff and ninth in the B1G with 70 strikeouts, as well as leading the Spartans and ranking ninth in the B1G with 21 strikeouts looking. Lowery also ranked 10th in league for strikeouts in conference only games with 37 Ks, as well as tied for 11th with 11 batters struck out looking. After coming out of bullpen in his first 18 appearances, Lowery made four-straight starts to end the season.

Racking Up Awards On And Off The Field
Michigan State was recognized with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award. Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were honored with the award, which recognizes teams coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2016-17 academic year. In total, 221 programs were recognized with the 2016-17 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award, including 70 high school programs and 60 teams from NCAA Division III. MSU had a 3.22 GPA this year, which is the highest in program history. The Spartans are one of two Big Ten teams on the 36-team list for NCAA Division I teams, joined by Minnesota.

Chmielewski and McGuire Earn CoSIDA Academic All-District Accolades
Michigan State baseball players Dan Chmielewski and Zack McGuire were named first-team Academic All-DistrictTM announced on Wednesday, May 4. Both were recognized as a part of NCAA Division I District 5 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Chmielewski and McGuire are the first Spartan baseball players to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors since Brandon Eckerle in 2011. Overall, they are 14th and 15th honors, and the 13th and 14th players as Ecklerle is the Spartans' lone multiple honoree.

Sophomore outfielder Chmielewski is a native of Shelby Township, Michigan, and owns a 4.00 GPA in psychology. He played in 49 of the 52 games and made 48 starts. He batted .275 with 50 hits, including 11 doubles, one triple and four HRs, with 30 runs scored and 25 RBI, ranking third on the team and 20th in the B1G with 12 stolen bases. Chmielewski led MSU and tied for 11th in the B1G with seven sac bunts overall and tied for eighth in league in conference only action with four sac bunts. He also tied for fifth on the team with 12 multiple hit games, including two three-hit outings and a four-hit game, going 4-for-4 with career-high five RBI at Richmond (March 18), rapping two doubles and a HR.

McGuire, a junior first baseman from Sterling Heights, Michigan, owns a 3.85 GPA as a packaging major. He started and played in 50 of the 52 games, making 48 starts at first base and two starts at DH. McGuire hit .279, and ranked second on the team with 15 doubles and seven home runs, while ranking tied for third the team with 51 hits. The 15 doubles ranked tied for eighth in the B1G, as helped MSU lead the B1G and rank 15th in NCAA with 2.17 doubles per game, ranking second in the conference and 44th in the country with 44 doubles. He ranked third on the team with a .475 slugging percentage, adding a .356 slugging percentage. McGuire had a .989 fielding percentage, including ranking seventh in the B1G in both chances (459) and putouts (424). He was part of 38 fielding double plays, ranking 11th in the conference, helping MSU rank 27th in the NCAA in double plays per game (0.98). McGuire was also the third leg of a 5-4-3 triple play at Nebraska (May 13). MSU was one of 14 teams in the NCAA to turn a triple play and it was MSU's first triple play since 2012 in the NCAA Tournament and was the first triple play in the B1G since 2014.

District 5 consists of schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The Spartan duo were two of four Big Ten Conference players earning first-team Academic All-District Team honors, joined by Michael Hendrickson of Michigan and Pat McInerney of Illinois. The two MSU players are also two-fifths of the Michigan school represented, along with Hendrickson, Central Michigan's Daniel Jipping and Eastern Michigan's Brennan Williams.

For more information about the Academic All-DistrictTM and Academic All-America® Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.

Milestone Victories
Michigan State's 2,300th win came on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, becoming just the fifth team in the Big Ten Conference and the 32nd team in the country with 2,300 wins. Here's a closer look of MSU's milestone wins:

1st Win May 19, 1884
100th Win May 26, 1905
500th Win April 25, 1945
1,000th Win May 13, 1972
1,500th Win April 27, 1991
2,000th Win April 6, 2010
2,300th Win Feb. 17, 2017
The Last Meeting
Michigan State7
Nebraska8
May 14, 2017
Lincoln, Neb.
Michigan State Nipped By Nebraska Sunday, 8-7, In Series Finale
Michigan State baseball was nipped by Nebraska, 8-7, Sunday afternoon at Hawks Field in the finale of the three-game Big Ten Conference series.


 

 

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