May 7, 2010
Michigan State (28-14, 7-8) vs. Purdue (26-17, 8-7)
Lambert Field West Lafayette, Ind.
GameTracker available at MSUSpartans.com
Saturday, May 8 1 p.m.
Jr. RHP A.J. Achter (4-2, 3.52) vs. Sr. RHP Matt Bischoff (7-1, 3.29)
Sunday, May 9 1 p.m.
Jr. RHP Kurt Wunderlich (7-2, 4.52) vs. So. LHP Calvin Gutner (1-0, 5.26)
Monday, May 10 1 p.m.
So. RHP Tony Bucciferro (6-4, 4.86) vs. Sr. RHP Drew Wurdack (4-2, 5.21)
Pitching matchups probable and subject to change
Spartans Look to Rebound at Purdue
Michigan State will look to get back on track this weekend with a three-game set against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. In its last series in West Lafayette in 2008, MSU took two of three games from Purdue while last season, the Boilermakers won two games in East Lansing.
Defense Remains One of the Best
The Spartans .978 fielding percentage currently ranks sixth best in the nation. The Spartans led the nation for four consecutive weeks before dropping to second last week. Entering the weekend, the Green and White have committed just 35 errors this season - by far the lowest the conference as it is 19 less than the next closest school, Michigan.
MSU has gone errorless in 17 games this season and committed one or less errors in 33 of its 42 games.
Hot Offense Keeps Pace
The Spartans have received production up and down the lineup this season, and as a team, they rank in the top three in the conference in several offensive key categories, including: batting average (first, .331), slugging percentage (third, .479), on-base percentage (second, .403), runs (first, 336), hits (first, 499) and runs batted in (second, 309).
With 20 triples this season, MSU leads the Big Ten and ranked 13th in the nation when national statistics were released on Tuesday. The Spartans' .48 triples per game average ranked 12th nationally as of Tuesday.
Starting Pitchers Going Deep
All three weekend starting pitchers rank in the top-six in the league in innings pitched. A.J. Achter leads the conference with 76.2 innings pitched, Tony Bucciferro ranks fourth with 70.1 and Kurt Wunderlich is sixth with 67.2.
MSU is the only team with three pitchers in the top 10 in innings pitched.
Off and Running
The Spartans rank second in the Big Ten in stolen bases with 77. At the time NCAA statistics were released on Tuesday, MSU ranked 30th nationally in stolen bases per game at 1.83. With 77 stolen bags through 42 games, the Spartans have already eclipsed their total from last season (71). The school record for stolen bases in a season is 98, set in 2005.
Improvement All Around
Having eclipsed last season's win total through just 33 games, it's needless to say the Spartans have improved in nearly every facet. Here is a look at some of the more impressive comparisons between the Spartans' first 42 games of this season and all 54 games last season: MSU has scored 336 runs this season, 19 more than it scored in all of 2009.
The Spartans have 93 doubles and 20 triples this season, compared to 77 and 8, respectively, all of last season.
The Spartan defense has committed just 35 errors this season after making a total of 70 last year.
Putting Up Runs
MSU has scored in double digits 14 times this season and its 336 runs lead the Big Ten. MSU has put up double-digit hits on 27 different occasions this season, going 22-5 in those games.
Roberts Climbing The Charts
With 215 career hits, senior Chris Roberts currently stands alone in seventh place on the school's all-time hits list. Bob Malek (2000-02) holds the school record with 245 career hits. Roberts enters the weekend just one behind sixth-place Dave Veres.
With 124 RBI, Roberts is just two RBI away from moving into the MSU career RBI top-10 list.
Notable Season Marks
With 22 stolen bases, Jeff Holm ranks third on the MSU single-season stolen bases list. Steve Preston has the single-season record with 27 in 1988. As a team, the Spartans' 309 RBI are tied for 10th most in a season.
As a team, the Spartans are second the Big Ten with 309 RBI.
Freshman Boss Making an Impact
Since starting game two of a double header against Oakland on March 27, Torsten Boss has started every games since at third base. In that 23-game stretch, Boss raised his batting average nearly 100 points, from .256 to .350.
Boss is hitting .434 in Big Ten games which is fifth-best in the conference. His 19 RBI in conference games is tied with teammate Jeff Holm for third most in the league.
Freshman Pitchers Shine
In consecutive starts against Eastern Michigan last week, freshman pitchers Tony Wieber and Andrew Waszak combined for 13 strikeouts and allowed just five hits in a total of 14 innings pitched in the two wins. Weber had a no-hitter working through five innings of the Spartans' 5-1 win over the Eagles on April 27 and Waszak allowed just two hits in 7.2 innings in MSU's 4-0 win on April 28.
Young Infield Up to the Task
Through 42 games, Spartan freshmen Torsten Boss and Ryan Jones have become a solid part of the Spartans' reliable infield. Jones, a redshirt freshman, has made 37 starts and ranks fourth on the team with a .364 batting average. Entering the weekend, he has committed just five errors in 166 chances. Boss, a true freshman, has made 31 starts, including 26 at third base, and is currently hitting .350 with 11 extra-base hits.
Andrew Carpenter, a redshirt freshman, has 15 RBI this season and has made just one error in 16 starts at third base.
Patience at the Place
The Spartans have demonstrated a high degree of patience at the plate this season, as they rank ninth in the league in strikeouts with 231. MSU's .403 on-base percentage is second best in the conference.
Eckerle's Six Hits
Earlier this season in MSU's 26-11 win over Iowa, junior center fielder Brandon Eckerle tied a Big Ten record with six hits. He became the sixth player in conference history to record six hits in a conference game.
Frymier Saving the Day
Senior reliever Kurtis Frymier currently ranks in a tie for sixth in the Big Ten with five saves. It's the most saves by a Spartan pitcher since Mike Monterey's seven saves in 2007. With one more save, Frymier will move into the MSU single-season top 10.