Spartans and Lugnuts Set for Seventh Annual Crosstown Showdown
Redshirt junior Mike Theodore will start for the Spartans on Thursday.
April 10, 2013
|Crosstown Showdown: Michigan State vs. Lansing Lugnuts|
|Date||Thursday, April 11|
|Location||Lansing, Mich. | Cooley Law School Stadium (12,527)|
|Ticket Information||All tickets are priced at $10.|
|Television||Big Ten Network (Play-by-Play: Eric Collins, Color Analyst: Scott Pose)|
|Live Audio||Big921.com and 92.1 FM|
|Social Media Updates||@statebaseball | Facebook|
THE SEVENTH ANNUAL CROSSTOWN SHOWDOWN
Michigan State and the Lansing Lugnuts will play the seventh annual Crosstown Showdown on Thursday, April 11 at 7:05 p.m. The event has drawn record crowds to Cooley Law School Stadium, including a stadium-record 12,997 fans for the 2012 game. Crowds of more than 12,000 also attended the 2008 and 2009 contests. In the six years of the Crosstown Showdown, the game has attracted nearly 60,000 fans for an average of 9,844.
For the second straight season, the Crosstown Showdown will air live on the Big Ten Network with Eric Collins on the call and Scott Pose serving as color analyst. The 2013 event is sponsored by Auto-Owners Insurance, will be a nine-inning game, and both teams will use wooden bats.
"The Crosstown Showdown has been a great event for our entire program," said MSU head coach Jake Boss. "It's really a thrill for me personally, and our team as a whole, to play in front of 13,000 people in a great atmosphere. The Lugnuts are a first-class organization from top to bottom and have taken this event to a whole new level. We're excited about the opportunity to continue playing the Lugnuts on an annual basis in the Crosstown Showdown."
The Lugnuts, a Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, own a 4-2 series advantage in the Crosstown Showdown. After Lansing won the first two games in 2007 and 2008, Michigan State claimed its first victory over the Lugnuts with a 12-2 triumph in 2009. MSU also won in 2011, 2-1.
Mike Theodore will get the start on the mound for the Spartans. He is 0-1 in two starts this season. MSU is coming off a 10-1 win over Western Michigan on Tuesday and will host Indiana this weekend.
1) SHOWDOWN HISTORY
The Lugnuts own a 4-2 advantage in the series but four of the six games in the series have been decided by two or fewer runs.
April 3, 2007 - Lansing Lugnuts 4, Michigan State 3 (Attendance: 6,223)
April 24, 2008 - Lansing Lugnuts 4, Michigan State 2 (Attendance: 12,862)
April 16, 2009 - Michigan State 12, Lansing Lugnuts 2 (Attendance: 12,992)
April 26, 2010 - Lansing Lugnuts 5, Michigan State 4 (Attendance: 6,778)
April 5, 2011 - Michigan State 2, Lansing Lugnuts 1 (Attendance: 7,212)
April 5, 2012 - Lansing Lugnuts 7, Michigan State 0 (Attendance: 12,997)
2) RIHTARCHIK SHINES AGAIN
Redshirt junior Chase Rihtarchik earned his fourth straight win of the season against Western Michigan on Tuesday. Rihtarchik allowed just three hits in seven innings and gave up just one run. In four starts this season, he is 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA. Rihtarchik is first in the Big Ten in opponent batting average at .108 and is fifth in ERA. He has allowed just 11 hits in 31.1 innings pitched. The highlight of the season was a no-hitter against Oakland back on March 23. It was MSU's first no-hitter since Nolan Moody in 2009.
3) Anthony Cheky AND Cam Gibson
Head coach Jake Boss has made it a point this season to play both sophomore Anthony Cheky and freshman Cam Gibson at the same time, despite both playing center field. While one patrols the outfield, the other is usually penciled in as the team's designated hitter. The obvious reason is having speed at the top and bottom halves of the lineup. Cheky is second in the conference with 15 steals and Gibson has seven. Both boast an on-base percentage above .350.
4) CONSISTENT KEUR
Senior captain Jordan Keur has been the most consistent at the plate for the Spartans this season. Keur is batting .330 and leads the team with 20 RBIs. Keur has started all 29 games in left field and also leads the team with a .426 on-base percentage, good for ninth in the Big Ten. In the preseason, Keur was named one of the Big Ten Players to Watch.
5) MIDWEEK RECAP
The Spartans defeated the Broncos, 10-1, on Tuesday afternoon at McLane Stadium and had 13 hits in the game. Junior Joel Fisher had scored two runs and had three RBIs. Redshirt junior Chase Rihtarchik had another solid outing and notched his fourth consecutive win on the season after allowing just one run and three hits against Western Michigan. The Spartans answered by scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning after giving up one in the top of the frame. Jordan Keur had a RBI-single down the left field line and Ryan Krill grounded into a double-play, scoring one Spartan run. Fisher came through with a two-RBI single and both PJ Nowak and Cam Gibson also notched RBIs for Michigan State.
6) MULTI-HIT GAMES AGAINST THE BRONCOS
After struggling at the plate against Michigan, seven different Spartans recorded a hit and five had multi-hit games against the Broncos. Junior Joel Fisher led the way, going 2-for-3 with two runs to go along with three RBIs. Cam Gibson, Jordan Keur, Jimmy Pickens and Ryan Richardson all had two hits on the day.
7) THREE SPARTANS IN THE TOP 10 IN OBA
Michigan State has three pitchers that rank in the top-10 in opponent batting average. Redshirt junior Chase Rihtarchik leads the team and the conference with a .108 mark. Sophomore Mick VanVossen checks in at seventh, holding hitters to a .216 average and senior Andrew Waszak is 10th with a .231 mark.
8) GUEST COACHES AT THE SHOWDOWN
Michigan State will welcome five members of the MSU Athletics Department onto the base paths for the Crosstown Showdown. Men's soccer head coach Damon Rensing will kick things off in the second inning, followed by MSU basketball alum Tim Bograkos in the fourth, track coach Walt Drenth in the fifth, women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll in the sixth inning and swimming coach Matt Gianiodis in the eighth inning.
9) SUFFERING THE FIRST SWEEP OF THE SEASON
The Spartans suffered their first sweep of the season last weekend against Michigan. It was the first time that MSU was swept by Michigan since 2008.
CHECK US OUT ON BTN.COM
Michigan State will have 11 games streamed live this season and three games live on the Big Ten Network. The Crosstown Showdown against the Lansing Lugnuts will be the first game to air live on the Big Ten Network on April 11. MSU's contests against Purdue on April 26 and 28 will also be live on BTN.
SELECT GAMES ON SPARTAN SPORTS NETWORK
Michigan State will have six more games broadcast live on SpartansSportsNetwork.com and be carried on the SSN 24/7 app for tablets and smartphones this season. The next scheduled game is the Clash at Comerica against Central Michigan on April 17. Other games include Notre Dame on April 24, Purdue on April 27 and the Illinois series, May 3-5.
FISHER SECOND IN THE BIG TEN IN DOUBLES
Junior catcher and infielder Joel Fisher is second in the Big Ten in doubles with 10 and is eighth in slugging percentage with a .495 mark. In his last 10 games, Fisher is hitting .314 with 11 hits in 34 at-bats.