Baseball Looks to a Six-Game Schedule this Week

April 14, 1998

With its pitching staff coming off four straight strong performances against Indiana, Michigan State faces a six-game schedule this week that includes all in-state rivals. After two non-conference games during the week, MSU faces the Wolverines in a critical four-game set.

Tues. April 12  Grand Valley State  Kobs Field  3:00 p.m.
Wed.  April 13  Eastern Michigan  Ypsilani, Mich.  3:00 p.m.
Fri.  April 17  Michigan  Ann Arbor, Mich.  3:00 p.m.
Sat.  April 18  Michigan (DH)  Olds Park  1:00 p.m.
Sun.  April 19  Michigan  Ann Arbor, Mich.  1:00 p.m.
The Lakers should not be overlooked, as they check in to Tuesday's contest with a 16-8 record. GVSU is coming off a 36-3 pasting of Concordia College in Ann Arbor.

EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles host MSU with a 16-18 mark, 6-8 in the MAC. EMU dropped three of four with CMU last weekend.

MICHIGAN: The Wolverines (15-16-1, 5-7) have won six of their last seven, as they won three of four over Minnesota in Ann Arbor on April 10-12. Michigan is led by the twin-brother lineup duo of Derek and Bryan Besco, UM's cleanup and No. 5 hitters, respectively. Michigan's captain, senior shortstop Brian Kalczynski, is the older brother of MSU's starting catcher Joe Kalczynski. The Wolverines, currently coached by Geoff Zahn, took three of four from the Spartans last season, with MSU taking its lone win at home in the series finale, 6-5, on May 4. Junior pitcher J.J. Putz is beginning to find his pre-season All-American form after an early injury sidelined him for much of the spring. The Wolverines also have added Robbie Reid, a LHP/DH, from the basketball squad.

4/7, @Michigan State 4, Oakland 0
Mulder fans ten in six scoreless IP

4/8, Detroit 11, @Michigan State 7 Pisani, Wagner each with two hits

4/10, @Michigan State 8, Indiana 4 Murphy goes distance, sets record Wagner hits 3-run HR in 7-run 6th

4/11, Indiana 2, @Michigan State 0 Mulder fans 14 in seven-IP CG

4/11, @Michigan State 2, Indiana 0 Zsigo hurls 6.1 scoreless, knocks in both runs with RBI double

4/12, Indiana 3, @Michigan State 0 Steiger fans nine in first Big Ten start Fernandez collects three hits MSU LINEUP Pos B Player C/RF R Carlos Fernandez SS R Tom Grigg CF R Mike Wagner P/DH L Mark Mulder 3B R Mike Pisani LF R Tom Hartley C R Joe Kalczynski 1B L Ryan Leson 2B R Ted Demetral MSU ROTATION 4/14: David Strunk, RHP 4/15: Kimya Massey, LHP 4/17: Brian Murphy, RHP 4/18 (gm 1): Mark Mulder, LHP 4/18 (gm 2): Gary Zsigo, LHP 4/19: John Steiger, RHP

Senior right-hander Brian Murphy broke MSU's career innings pitched record on April 10 in an 8-4 complete-game victory over Indiana. He set the new standard on a groundball to shortstop on the second out of the ninth, as Murphy now has 268.0 innings thrown in his career as a Spartan. He snapped the old mark of 267.1 set by Stuart Hirschman from 1990-93. With 179 career strikeouts, Murphy also sits in fourth place on MSU's career strikeout list.

After surrendering two first-inning runs, junior lefty Mark Mulder settled down to fan 14 in a seven-inning complete game outing against Indiana in game one of a doubleheader on April 11. The southpaw, who could be the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, struck out a batter in each inning, as well as fanning every Hoosier batter at least once. The 14 marks the second-most in his career, as he whiffed 16 on March 7 against Campbell. He now has 76 strikeouts (and just 14 walks) in 53.2 innings, a fabulous 12.7 SO/nine innings. Michigan State's single-season record for whiffs in a season is 107, set by Mel Behney in 1968.

On a current eight-game hitting streak, sophomore third baseman Mike Pisani has been on a roll during that span. He has hit .467 (14-30) during that span, raising his average from .200 to .270. He has an OBP during that time of .515, while slugging .633. He also leads the squad with seven SB. Pisani also has played in the most consecutive games for the Spartans, at 48 (Mark Mulder is second with 46).

Sophomore right-hander Chris Yens has settled into the closer role for head coach Ted Mahan, successfully converting all four save opportunities this season. He has a 1.93 ERA in his last five appearances, collecting two saves, fanning five and walking none in 4.2 innings. He has been brutal on fellow righties this season, limiting them to just six hits in 39 at-bats against him (.154 BA). Yens got two of those outs in game two of the April 11 double header with Indiana, as he came into a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the final frame. He proceeded to notch a strikeout and a groundout to seal MSU's 2-0 victory.

It has been feast of famine for Gary Zsigo in his seven starts this season. In his four solid outings, the southpaw is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 innings, striking out 34 while walking 11 and allowing 26 hits. But in his three other starts, Zsigo is 1-2, with a 18.00 ERA in 12.0 innings. However, the sophomore is 4-0 following Spartan losses this season.

Spear-headed by a core of fire-balling starters, the Michigan State pitching staff is averaging over a strikeout per inning this season (263 SO in 246.1 IP), a feat never accomplished by any team in Spartan history. Spartan starters have racked up 209 whiffs in 176 innings (10.7 per nine innings). Mark Mulder (76 SO/53.2 IP), Gary Zsigo (50/39.2), Brian Murphy (45/47.1) and John Steiger (26/19.2) have led the charge.

--Mike Wagner's first three games last week: 6-11, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB.
--Sophomore backstop Joe Kalczynski has thrown out 10 of 17 runners trying to steal on him this season, good for a 58.8%.
--MSU's 11-4 victory over Ohio in the second game of the doubleheader on March 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 1758-1371-28.
--When Tom Hartley returned from a March 9 hand injury, he brought his batting stroke with him. Hitting just .105 when he went down, the junior outfielder has hit .320 since and is the squad's leading hitter in conference play (.368). Hartley led MSU in hitting last season with a .360 average.


Home 4-3 Away 7-10 Neutral 3-4

Day 12-17 Night 2-0

February 2-3 March 8-8 April 4-6 May 0-0

vs. LH starters 3-6 vs. RH starters 11-11

Conference 4-8 Non-conference 10-9

MSU scores first 11-6 Opponent scores first 3-11

One-run games 1-5 Two-run games 2-2 Game decided by more than 5 4-8

Extra-inning games 0-0

Double header record 1-0-5

When Mulder starts 4-5 When Murphy starts 3-4 When Zsigo starts 5-2 When Massey starts 1-3 When Steiger starts 1-3

Mark Mulder has continued his quest for Michigan State's single-season strikeout mark. Here is the current chart (as of 4/12):

Player SO Year 1. Mel Behney 107 1968 2. Dick Radatz 106 1959 3. Ron Perranoski 89 1958 4. Dick Kenney 88 1967 5. Robin Roberts 86 1947 5. Ron Perranoski 86 1957 7. Brad Van Pelt 84 1972 8. Dick Radatz 83 1958 9. Mickey Knight 82 1968 10. Todd Krumm 78 1988 11. MARK MULDER 76 1998 11. Jack Nutter 76 1963 13. Phil Fulton 73 1970 14. Mickey Sinks 71 1960 15. Kirk Maas 70 1971 1998 BIG TEN STANDINGS (Games through 4/12) Team W L W L T Illinois 9 3 22 12 0 Minnesota 7 5 25 9 0 Ohio State 7 5 20 10 0 Penn State 7 5 17 16 0 Indiana 6 6 21 18 0 Iowa 6 6 12 13 0 Purdue 5 7 16 17 0 Michigan 5 7 15 16 1 Northwestern 4 8 16 14 0 Michigan State 4 8 14 17 0

CONFERENCE GAMES ON 4/17-19: Michigan vs. Michigan State Minnesota at Illinois Northwestern at Indiana Penn State at Iowa Ohio State at Purdue

--Has a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts, compiling 24 strikeouts and just one walk in 13.0 innings.

--Has gotten on base at least once in each of the last nine games.

--His Mulder's two-home run affair against Penn State marked the first two-homer game by a Spartan since April 20, 1997, when Marty Patterson turned the trick against Siena Heights.

--Offensive breakdown by position:
at P: .222 (4-18), 0 HR, 3 RBI
at 1B: .364 (12-33), 0 HR, 4 RBI
at LF: .545 (6-11), 3 HR, 5 RBI
at DH: .273 (9-33), 1 HR, 7 RBI
--Most successful Spartan in getting runner home from third with less than two out: 75.0% (6-8).

HITS: 4, two times
RUNS: 3, two times
RBI: 4, two times
HR: 2, Mulder (4/5)
SB: 2, Pisani (3/7)

IP: 9.0, two times
ER: 10, Zsigo (3/28))
BB: 5, Mulder (4/3)
SO: 16, Mulder (3/7)

HITS: 16, vs. Wayne St. (3/25)
RUNS: 13, at Penn St. (4/4)
BB: 7, two times
HR: 4, at Penn St. (4/5)
RUNS-INNING: 7, vs. Indiana (4/10).

SO: 16, at Campbell (3/7)
BB: 8, at Lamar (2/20)
ER: 21, at Penn St. (4/5)

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)...2-4 vs. WMU (3/24)...2-6 with two runs scored against Wayne State (3/25), while hitting leadoff for the first time this season...Only Spartan with two hits vs. Iowa (3/27)...Reached base three times with a single, double and walk vs. Penn State (4/4)...Hit his first collegiate home run, a three-run shot to left, to kickstart MSU's offense in a 13-9 victory over Penn State (4/4). He reached base four times, including three on base on balls. He also made 14 putouts behind the plate...2-4 with 12 putouts vs. Oakland...3-4 against Indiana (4/12).

4 - ERIC DOYLE, 3B - First collegiate start vs. Campbell (3/10)...Collected first collegiate hit vs. Ohio (3/13)...Scored twice against Penn State (4/4).

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)...Reached base three times vs. WMU (3/24)...Tripled and scored vs. Iowa (3/27)...Recorded nine assists vs. Iowa (3/28)...Lone Spartan with two hits vs. Iowa (3/28), including a double...Notched three singles in the finale of the Iowa series (3/29)...Three RBI and two hits, including a double, in a victory over Penn State (4/4)...3-5 with two runs scored and his first HR of the campaign against Penn State (4/5)...2-5 vs. Indiana (4/10).

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)...2-4 with a clutch ninth-inning RBI in victory over WMU (3/24)...Recorded a single, double and triple vs. Wayne State (3/25)...Went three-for-four with a double, two RBI and three runs scored in MSU's 13-9 victory over Penn State.

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 Spartans' 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)...Reached base in all three plate appearances vs. Wayne State (3/25)...Recorded 100th strikeout in collegiate career vs. Iowa (3/27)...Struck out seven in five innings against Penn State (4/3)...Lit up Penn State (4/5) pitching, going 4-5 with two HR, two doubles, four RBI and three runs scored...Struck out ten in six scoreless innings against Oakland (4/7), picking up his third win of the year. Walked none, while striking out the side in his first and last innings...Reached base all four plate appearances vs. Detroit (4/8)...2-4 with a double vs. Indiana (4/10)...Fanned 14 in seven innings, walking just one and allowing only two runs vs. Indiana (4/11)...

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 MSU's 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 MSU's all-time strikeout list...Moved into seventh place on all-time Ks list with three vs. Ohio (3/14)...Shutout the Hawkeyes (3/28), allowing just five base hits and no walks during his seven inning-complete game. He struck out five as MSU won its first Big Ten game of the year, 4-0. With those seven innings, Murphy passed the 250 inning mark for his career....Struck out nine in a six-inning complete game, as he moved into second place on MSU's career innings pitched list...Moved into first place on MSU's career IP list with a complete-game victory over Indiana (4/10), fanning six in nine innings...

15 - JOSH AXELSON, RHP - Threw one inning of hitless ball, combining on a two-hit shutout vs. Wayne State (3/25).

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)...Broke up a no-hitter with a single in the eighth inning against Penn State (4/3).

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)...Banged out three hits, a steal and a walk vs. Penn State (4/4)...2-4 with a double and two runs scored vs. Detroit (4/8)....3-5 with a double and RBI vs. Indiana (4/10)...2-3 with a triple vs. Indiana (4/11)...Extended hitting streak to eight games with a single and steal vs. Indiana (4/12).

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)...Hit dramatic three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth, capping a five-run, two-out rally in the final frame, lifting MSU past Western Michigan (3/24), 5-4...Recorded home run and triple, as well as three RBI, in victory over Wayne State (3/25)...2-3 with a triple vs. Iowa (3/28)...Reached base three times vs. Penn State (4/4)...Belted HR and had three RBI against Oakland (4/7)...Two hits, RBI and runs scored vs. Detroit (4/8)...Hit three-run bomb during MSU's seven-run sixth inning in 8-4 victory over Indiana (4/10)...

24 - TOM HARTLEY, OF - Went 2-2 vs. Penn State (4/4) with three RBI, including a double, in his first plate appearances since a hand injury on March 9...Reached base three times vs. Penn State (4/5)...Two RBI vs. Detroit (4/8)...

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)...Struck out four in three innings of hitless ball vs. Wayne State (3/25).

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)...Hit first collegiate home run over the Kobs Field center field scoreboard against Wayne State (3/25).

27 - SCOTT COLVIN, 1B - Recorded first collegiate base hit vs. Wayne State (3/25)...First collegiate start vs. Penn State (4/4).

28 - JOHN STEIGER, RHP - Collected eight whiffs in five innings during his collegiate debut against Campbell (3/11), allowing just one unearned run...Picked up first collegiate victory with three shutout innings vs. Wayne State (3/25)...Struck out career-high nine Hoosiers in his first Big Ten start, giving up just one run in 5.1 innings on the hill.

29 - CASEY READER, RHP - Picked up first win as a Spartan in MSU's dramatic 5-4 victory over Western Michigan (3/24).

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)...Fanned ten and picked up his fourth victory of the campaign against Penn State (4/4). He also started his first collegiate game in the cleanup spot...

Hit first collegiate HR, a two-run shot, vs. Penn State (4/5)...Two-run single vs. Detroit (4/8)...2-5, 2 RBI and first collegiate triple vs. Indiana (4/10)...Hurled 6.1 scoreless innings, fanning four against Indiana (4/11), picking up his fifth win of the year. Knocked in the only two runs of the contest with a two-out double in the fourth, as MSU won 2-0.

28 - JOHN STEIGER, RHP - Collected eight whiffs in five innings during his collegiate debut against Campbell (3/11), allowing just one unearned run...Picked up first collegiate victory with three shutout innings vs. Wayne State (3/25).

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)...2-3 vs. Wayne State (3/25)...Clutch two-RBI single vs. Iowa (3/28).

33 - DAVID STRUNK, RHP - Pitched two innings in collegiate debut (3/10).

34 - JERRY NOZEWSKI, RHP - Pitched one inning of hitless ball, fanning two, combining on a two-hit shutout of Wayne State (3/25)...Pitched effective three innings vs. Penn State (4/3).

41 - CHRIS YENS, RHP - Picked up his second career save, tossing the final three innings against Troy State (2/28)...Closed the door in MSU's 5-4 victory over WMU (3/24)...Fanned the only two batters he faced to close the door against Penn State (4/4), picking up his third save of the season...Called in and pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the final inning of MSU's 2-0 victory over Indiana (4/11), inducing a strikeout and a ground ball to pick up his fourth save of the year.

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...Threw one inning of hitless ball, combining on a two-hit shutout vs. Wayne State (3/25).

                 Gms  W-L
Mark Mulder        9  4-5
Brian Murphy       7  3-4
Gary Zsigo         7  5-2
Kimya Massey       4  1-3
John Steiger       4  1-3

Catcher Joe Kalczynski 18 9-9 Carlos Fernandez 13 5-8

First Base Ryan Leson 15 7-8 Mark Mulder 11 4-7 Joe Kalczynski 4 2-2 Scott Colvin 1 1-0

Second Base Ted Demetral 29 13-16 Eric Doyle 2 1-1

Third Base Mike Pisani 28 13-15 Eric Doyle 3 1-2

Shortstop Tom Grigg 25 11-14 Ted Demetral 2 1-1

Left Field Joe Albaugh 25 11-14 Mark Mulder 3 1-2 Tom Hartley 2 1-1 Scott Colvin 1 1-0

Center Field Mike Wagner 31 14-17

Right Field Tom Hartley 14 7-7 Carlos Fernandez 14 6-8 Mike Pisani 3 1-2

Designated Hitter Mark Mulder 17 9-8 Gary Zsigo 12 5-7 Ryan Leson 2 0-2 LEADING SITUATIONAL HITTERS (highest BA, min. 60 AB) Overall: .326, Mulder vs. LHP: .462, Fernandez vs. RHP: .329, Mulder Bases Empty: .364, Leson Runners On: .341, Kalczynski Two Outs: .387, Wagner Scoring Pos.: .357, Leson LEADING PITCHING LEADERS (lowest BA against, min 60 BF) Overall: .200, Yens vs. LHP: .125, Brandell vs. RHP: .154, Yens Two Outs: .063, Yens Runners On: .176, Yens

Most Multiple-Hit games: Mark Mulder/Tom Grigg, 10

Most Multiple-RBI games: Mike Wagner, 7

Longest Hitting Streak: Mike Wagner, 9

Longest Current Streak: Mike Pisani, 8

Tim Crabtree, traded prior to opening day from Toronto to Texas for backup C Kevin Brown, is the lone former Spartan in the Majors. Here is his season-to-date statisitcs (through 4/11):
W   L   ERA   IP   ER   BB  SO
0   0   9.00  3.0  3    3   3

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
3/24  Western Mich.  ND   2.0  1   0  0   0   2   2.79
3/27  Iowa           L    6.2  10  7  6   2   6   3.79
4/3   Penn State     L    5.0  8   7  6   5   7   4.65
4/7   Oakland        W    6.0  3   0  0   0   10  4.05
4/11  Indiana        L    7.0  6   2  2   1   14  3.86

Totals 3-4 53.2 53 27 23 14 76 3.86 MURPHY'S LADDER MSU CAREER PITCHING RANKS Strikeouts No. Years 1. Ron Perranoski 223 56-58 2. Dick Radatz 193 57-59 3. Mickey Sinks 180 59-61 4. Brian Murphy 179 95-SA

Innings Pitched No. Years 1. Brian Murphy 268.0 95-SA