Spartans Host Indiana in Final Home Series
Series starts Friday at 2:05 p.m.
May 13, 2010
Indiana (24-22, 9-9) vs. Michigan State (30-16, 8-10)
McLane Baseball Stadium East Lansing, Mich.
All three games broadcast live on the Big Ten Network
Play-by-Play: Matt Shepard, Analyst: Danan Hughes
Friday, May 14 2:05 p.m.
So. LHP Drew Leininger (7-3, 4.14) vs. Jr. RHP A.J. Achter (4-3, 4.01)
Saturday, May 15 12:05 p.m.
Fr. RHP Jonny Hoffman (2-2, 9.00) vs. Jr. RHP Kurt Wunderlich (7-3, 4.58)
Sunday, May 16 1:05 p.m.
R-Jr. RHP Matt Carr (1-1, 2.51) vs. So. RHP Tony Bucciferro (7-4, 4.66)
Pitching matchups probable and subject to change
Spartans Return Home For Final Home Series
In its final home weekend of the year, Michigan State hosts Indiana in a critical Big Ten matchup. With just six games to play, only two games separate all 10 teams. All three games of the MSU-IU series will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Friday's game begins at 2:05 p.m.
MSU enters the series 1-5 in its last six conference games, but won the series finale at Purdue on Monday by overcoming a 4-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth inning and then defeated Michigan, 13-10, on Wednesday in Ann Arbor in a non-conference matchup.
Indiana has won three of its last four games, including taking two of three from Northwestern last weekend on the road.
With their 13-10 win over Michigan on Wednesday, the Spartans became the 11th team in school history, and first since 2004, to win 30 games. They became just the fourth team since 1993 to eclipse the 30-win mark. The two teams that accomplished the feat this decade were the 2002 (38 wins) and the 2004 (33 wins) teams. Both made the Big Ten Tournament.
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, .325), slugging percentage (third, .470), on-base percentage (second, .398), runs (first, 364), hits (second, 537) and runs batted in (second, 333).
Roof on Brooks Wallace Award Watch List
Junior shortstop Jonathan Roof was named to the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. Roof is the only player from the Big Ten on the list of 25. This season, Roof enters the weekend with a three-game hitting streak and is hitting .330 with 38 RBI.
Eckerle Earns Academic All-District Honors Junior center fielder Brandon Eckerle was elected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV First Team. With the honor, Eckerle is now eligible to become an Academic All-American. Eckerle currently carries a 3.97 GPA and is a general business administration/pre-law major.
With 20 triples this season, MSU leads the Big Ten and ranked 16th in the nation when national statistics were released on Tuesday. The Spartans' .44 triples per game average ranked 16th nationally as of Tuesday.
Defense Remains One of the Best
The Spartans .977 fielding percentage currently ranks 11th best in the nation. The Spartans actually led the nation for four consecutive weeks before falling out of the top spot two weeks ago. Entering the weekend, the Green and White have committed just 41 errors this season - by far the lowest the conference as it is 14 less than the next closest school, Michigan.
MSU has gone errorless in 18 games this season and committed one or less errors in 35 of its 46 games.
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 83.0 innings pitched, Tony Bucciferro ranks third with 77.1 and Kurt Wunderlich is tied for sixth with 74.2.
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 81 - 10 more than all of last season (71). The school record for stolen bases in a season is 98, set in 2005.
Roberts Climbing The Charts
With 221 career hits, senior Chris Roberts currently stands alone in sixth 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 two behind James Moreno (2001-04) for fifth place.
With 129 RBI, Roberts is now alone in ninth place on the MSU career list. He trails Rich Juday (1988-91) by seven for eighth place.
Noteable Season Marks
Below is a list of players that have moved into various MSU single-season record top-10 lists. The record holder follows in parentheses:
Brandon Eckerle ranks in a tie for ninth in runs with 53 (Bob Malek - 66, 2002)
Jeff Holm's 19 doubles (Chris McCuiston - 22, 2002) put him in a tie for third place while his 22 stolen bases (Steve Preston - 27, 1988) put him alone in third place.
Frymier Saving the Day
Senior stopper Kurtis Frymier picked saves in each of the Spartans' last two wins and currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten with a toal of seven saves. His seven saves this year move him into a four-way tie for fourth most in a season since 1986. Frymier's nine career saves tie Mike Monterey for the fifth-most in school history.
<>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 46 games of this season and all 54 games last season:
MSU has scored 364 runs this season, 47 more than it scored in all of 2009.
The Spartans have 103 doubles and 20 triples this season, compared to 77 and 8, respectively, all of last season.
The Spartan defense has committed just 41 errors this season after making a total of 70 last year.
As a team, the Spartans are second the Big Ten with 333 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 27-game stretch, Boss raised his batting average 75 points and become one of the best freshmen in the Big Ten.
Boss is hitting .422 in Big Ten games which is fifth-best in the conference. His 22 RBI in conference games is tied with teammate Jeff Holm for third most in the league.
Putting Up Runs
MSU has scored in double digits 15 times this season and its 364 runs lead the Big Ten.
MSU has put up double-digit hits on 28 different occasions this season, going 23-5 in those games.
Young Infield Up to the Task
Through 46 games, Spartan freshmen Torsten Boss and Ryan Jones have become a solid part of the Spartans' reliable infield. Jones, a redshirt freshman, has made 41 starts and ranks second on the team with a .370 batting average. Entering the weekend, he has committed just six errors in 189 chances. Boss, a true freshman, has made 35 starts, including 30 at third base, and is currently hitting .348 with 14 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.
Losing a Legend - Robin Roberts
All of baseball lost a legend on May 6 when former Spartan great Robin Roberts passed away. As one of just three Spartans to have his number retired, Robin Roberts was one of the greatest baseball players to ever take the mound at Old College Field. After starring on the basketball court and on the baseball field at Michigan State, Roberts when on to become one of the greatest pitchers in Philadelphia Phillies history. As part of the Phillies' famed `Whiz Kids' in 1950, he posted the first of six consecutive 20-win seasons in helping the Phillies to the National League pennant - the first for the organization in 35 years. He went on to appear in a total of seven All-Star Games in his 19 major league seasons and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
For his career, Roberts posted 286 victories, racked up 2,357 strikeouts and had a career-ERA of 3.41.
Roberts was honored with the inaugural MSU Baseball Alumnus of the Year Award in 2002 and was always an active part of the Spartan program.