Michigan State Opens Final Week Of Regular-Season At Central Michigan Tuesday
Spartans head to Mount Pleasant to take on Chippewas; MSU's Bryce Kelley is son of Chips' great WBB player
|MICHIGAN STATE (18-28, 9-11 B1G) at CENTRAL MICHIGAN (22-28-1, 13-11 MAC)|
|Location||Bill Theunissen Stadium || Mount Pleasant, Mich.|
|Admission || Promotions||Adult: $6 / Youth/Senior: $5 | CMU Ticket Office
|Weather||Tue: High/Low - 71/45|
|Game Notes||Michigan State | Central Michigan|
|Social Media|| @statebaseball | MichiganStateBaseball @statebaseballgogreen
|Game Date - Time||Tuesday, May 15 - 4:05 p.m. ET|
|Probable Pitching Matchup||MSU: RHP #8 Sam Benschoter (SO) (0-1, 3.95 ERA) vs. CMU: RHP #11 Cameron Brown (SO) (2-1, 6.67 ERA)|
|Coverage||GameTracker | Listen Live - Spartan Sports Network | Watch Live ($)|
Leading Off... Michigan State Opens Final Week Of Regular-Season At Central Michigan Tuesday
• Michigan State baseball opens its final week of regular-season action with its final in-state midweek game, at in-state foe Central Michigan on Tuesday, May 15. First pitch between the Spartans and Chippewas is slated for 4:05 p.m. from CMU's Bill Theunissen Stadium in Mount Pleasant.
• The Spartans then return home to host Ohio State in a three-game Big Ten Conference series to close out regular-season action Thursday-Saturday, May 17-19.
• Michigan State totes an 18-28 overall ledger into Tuesday's game, coming off a three-game B1G series at No. 16 Minnesota. The Spartans won the opener Friday night, 6-5, before falling, 10-5, on Saturday and getting clipped, 3-1, in the series finale on Sunday.
• Central Michigan has a 22-28-1 overall record, after a five-game week last week. The Chippewas opened the week with a 9-2 loss at home to Michigan on Tuesday, but bounced back to beat Cleary, 8-0, Wednesday. CMU then played a three-game Mid-American Conference series at Miami (Ohio), and had similar series results as MSU, winning Friday's opener, 6-2, before dropping Saturday's contest, 4-2, and falling, 13-8, on Sunday in the series finale.
• Fans can follow this week's Spartans vs. Chips contest through “Live Stats,” “Listen Live” and “Watch Live” links found at MSUSpartans.com. This week’s action between Michigan State and CMU will be video streamed, 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.
Son Of A Chippewa
MSU sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley’s mother, Jody Beerman Kelley, played basketball at Central Michigan and is one of the top women’s basketball players in CMU history, leading the Chippewas to an 81-35 record with two Mid-American Conference championships and two second-place finishes during her four-year career at CMU (1984-87). Beerman Kelley earned Honorable Mention Freshman All-American accolades in 1984 and twice made the MAC All-Tournament team. She ended her career setting the school scoring record with 1,527 and currently ranks No. 5 on the CMU career scoring list. Beerman Kelley still holds the CMU record for career free throws made (491) and free throw percentage (.851), as well as No. 2 in career assists (445), No. 3 in career scoring average (13.4 ppg), No. 4 in field goal percentage (.519), No. 6 in steals (196) and No. 8 in free throws made (514). She also still holds the single-season records for scoring average (20.8 ppg in 1986-87), free throws made (174 in 1986-87) and field goal percentage (.591 in 1985-86). In the 1985-86 season, Beerman Kelley led the nation in free throw percentage at .905 and also and set an NCAA mark for consecutive free throws with 57. Beerman Kelley also earned several academic honors, being tabbed a first team GTE-CoSIDA Academic All-American in 1987 and an honorable mention selection in 1986. She also collected first team Academic all-MAC three times and first team all-MAC as a player once and second team once. Beerman Kelley was inducted into the Central Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and was also on a Wheaties box. Beerman Kelley’s assists record was broken by current MSU women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant, who played at CMU from 1988-91 and had 463 assists.
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 March 30. 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 311-230 (.575) record. He coached 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 336-265 (.559) ledger, coaching his 600th career game last weekend at Minnesota.
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. 311
Michigan State has 21 players on its 2018 roster from the state of Michigan, while Central Michigan has 18 players from the Mitten State.
Series History vs. Central Michigan
Wednesday's match-up between MSU and CMU is the 131st all-time meeting between the Spartans and Chippewas, with CMU owning a 68-62 advantage in the all-time series. The Spartans have won five of the last seven meetings as part of winning 14 of the last 20 meetings dating back to 2011. Central Michigan won this season's first meeting, 3-1, on March 21 in East Lansing. Last season, the Spartans posted a 2-0 mark against the Chippewas, winning 11-2 in the 2017 home opener on March 21, and 7-0 at Mt. Pleasant on May 16. Since head coach Jake Boss took over in 2009, MSU owns a 17-10 record against CMU.
Michigan State vs. Central Michigan Series Breakdown
All-Time Series: CMU leads 68-62 / Home: 36-30 / Away: 23-31 / Neutral: 3-7 / Streak: CMU W1
First Met: June 3, 1911 - East Lansing, Mich. - MSU W, 5-0
Last Meeting: March 21, 2018 - East Lansing, Mich. - CMU W, 3-1
Last Meeting In Mount Pleasant: May 16, 2017 - Mount Pleasant, Mich. - MSU W, 7-0
Central Michigan As Last Midweek
Wednesday also marks the seventh-straight season that Central Michigan has been Michigan State's final midweek opponent on the regular-season schedule. The Spartans and Chips have played in Mount Pleasant in each of the last four seasons.
No CMU In Home Opener
By playing Niagara in this season's home opener on March 15, it marked the first time since 2014 that MSU opened home action against someone other than Central Michigan, as the Spartans had hosted the Chippewas in their previous three home openers.
Mother Nature For The Win
Michigan State has battled Mother Nature as much as any other opponent this season, as the Spartans have had four games cancelled due to inclement weather, as well as numerous other games rescheduled due to weather. The Spartans have had two games scheduled with Eastern Michigan cancelled, including April 4 at East Lansing and April 24 at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, as well as one game against Nebraska on April 6 cancelled and one game versus Valparaiso on April 14 cancelled.
MSU has also rescheduled single-day games to playing doubleheaders vs. Rutgers (April 30), Valparaiso (April 13) and Penn State (May 5), as well as pushing back the start time of the game vs. Nebraska on April 7 and at Michigan on March 25 due to weather.
For the second time in as many seasons, Spartan fans may have paid for their entire seat, but they have only needed the edge of them, as 27 of MSU’s 46 games of the 2018 season have been 1-run or 2-run games, with the Spartans posting a 6-8 mark in the 14 1-run contests, as well as 13 other 2-run games, which MSU is 6-7, after all three games of the Northwestern series April 20-22, two of the three games vs. Maryland April 27-29 as well as two of the three games at Minnesota May 11-13 were determined by two runs or less.
The Spartans’ 27 games decided by two runs or less out of 46 games is the most in the country by percentage (58.7 pct.) (according to research collection by Chris Rash of Elon), and tied for the most by number, joined by Elon, Fordham and Cincinnati with 27 games determined by 1-run.
The 14 1-run games is the seventh-most in the country by both number and percentage, as MSU's opponent from two weeks ago, Penn State, has joined Elon with the most of 18 1-run games, while this season’s opening opponent, Fresno State, has been in 16 1-run games, joined by Arizona and Virginia Tech with 16 each, followed by Fordham with 15, then MSU is joined by UMass Lowell and UNCW with 14. 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 also edged Arizona, 3-2, on March 4.
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.
Cincinnati 19 of 50 games (38.0%)
Elon 18 of 52 games (34.6%)
Penn State 18 of 44 games (40.9%)
Fresno State 16 of 51 games (31.4%)
Arizona 16 of 49 games (32.7%)
Virginia Tech 16 of 50 games (32.0%)
Fordham 15 of 49 games (30.6%)
Santa Clara 15 of 49 games (30.6%)
Michigan State 14 of 46 games (30.4%)
Gonzaga 14 of 47 games (29.8%)
UMass Lowell 14 of 47 games (29.8%)
UNCW 14 of 50 games (28.0%)
Loyola Marymount 12 of 48 games (25.0%)
Coastal Carolina 12 of 52 games (23.1%)
Stetson 11 of 51 games (21.6%)
Games Decided by 1-2 Runs
Michigan State 27 of 46 games (58.7%)
Fordham 27 of 49 games (55.1%)
Cincinnati 27 of 50 games (54.0%)
Elon 27 of 52 games (51.9%)
Santa Clara 25 of 49 games (51.0%)
Gonzaga 24 of 47 games (51.1%)
Virginia Tech 23 of 50 games (46.0%)
Penn State 22 of 44 games (50.0%)
Fresno State 22 of 51 games (43.1%)
UNCW 22 of 50 games (44.0%)
Loyola Marymount 21 of 48 games (43.8%)
Stetson 21 of 51 games (41.2%)
Arizona 20 of 49 games (40.8%)
UMass Lowell 20 of 47 games (42.6%)
Coastal Carolina 20 of 52 games (38.5%)
Michigan State has double-digit hits in 12 games this season and the Spartans are 8-4 when posting double-figure hits, losing to No. 10 Clemson on March 7 despite 14 hits, a loss to Valparaiso on April 13 with 11 hits, a loss to Michigan on May 9 with 11 hits, and a loss at No. 16 Minnesota on May 12 with 11 hits. MSU’s most recent double-digit hit outing was the aforementioned 11 hit outing on May 12 at Minnesota.
Spartans Swiping ‘Em Up Boosted By Sophomore Speedsters
MSU enters the week ranking second in the B1G and ranking 15th in the NCAA in stolen bases with 88, as well as ranking tops in the conference and 11th in the country in stolen bases per game (1.91).
The Spartans’ total is bolstered by swiping eight against Niagara on March 15. Overall, MSU stole 18 stolen bases in the four-game series with the Purple Eagles, swiping five on March 17. The Spartans also swiped six bases at Penn State on May 5.
MSU has now swiped three or more bases in 13 games this season, as along with the aforementioned pair of games with eight and five swipes vs. Niagara and six at Penn State, the Spartans had five base swipes in three other contests, first in the nightcap of the doubleheader at Fresno State on Feb. 17, vs. Furman on March 9 and at Northwestern on April. 20.
Individually, sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley leads the conference and ranks tied for 14th in the country with 27 stolen bases, while fellow sophomore outfielders Danny Gleaves and Justin Antoncic are second and tied for 14th in the conference with 22 and 13 swipes, respectively, with Gleaves ranking tied for 40th in the NCAA. Junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski adds nine stolen bases.
Now with 88 stolen bases, the 2018 Spartans have moved up to tie for third on MSU's team single-season stolen base list, matching the 2014 squad and marking the third time in the last five years that MSU has swiped 88 or more bases, as along with the 2014 team, the 2017 Spartans have the No. 2 spot with 96 stolen bases. The 2005 team holds the record with 98 base swipes.
TEAM STOLEN BASES
1. 2005 98
2. 2017 96
3. 2014 88
5. 2010 86
7. 1988 80
8. 2006 78
10. 2011 77
Bryce Burning The Basepaths
Sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley leads the B1G and ranks tied for 14th in the NCAA in stolen bases, swiping 27 bases on the season. He is also 11th in the nation in stolen bases per game at 0.61. 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 20 total games this season. He has multi stolen bases in six games, led by a career-high three at Michigan on March 23.
The three stolen bases in one game is one of three times this season that a Spartan has swiped three in a game, joining Danny Gleaves, who has done it twice, with three base swipes vs. Illinois on March 9 in Greenville and at Penn State on May 5.
Kelley And Gleaves Swiping Record Book
Sophomore outfielders Bryce Kelley and Danny Gleaves are both rapidly moving up the MSU single season top 10 record book for stolen bases, as Kelley is tied for the No. 3 spot with Steve Preston (1988) with 27 base swipes, while Gleaves is tied for No. 8 with 22 stolen bases.
SINGLE SEASON STOLEN BASES
1. Brandon Hughes 30 2017
2. Anthony Cheky 29 2014
3. Steve Preston 27 1988
4. Bryce Kelley 26 2018
5. Anthony Cheky 23 2013
Jeff Holm 23 2010
Steve Money 23 1994
8. Danny Gleaves 22 2018
Jimmy Pickens 22 2014
Brandon Eckerle 22 2011
Brandon Eckerle 22 2010
12. Joe Gavel 21 1969
Kirk Gibson 21 1978
14. Chuck Fawcett 20 1932
Jeff Holm 20 2011
-- Bryce Kelley 13 2017
-- Justin Antoncic 13 2018
-- Dan Chmielewski 12 2017
Gleaves-ing A Vapor Trail
Sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves isn’t too far behind Kelley in the B1G rankings with 22 base swipes, ranking second in the B1G and tied for 40th in the NCAA, boosted by swiping three in a game on two different occasions: vs. Illinois on March 9 and at Penn State on May 5, as well as two on three different occasions, at Fresno State on Feb. 17, vs. Illinois on March 10 and at Northwestern on April 20.
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.
Spartan Hurlers Ringing Up The Strikeouts
As a staff, Michigan State pitchers are fifth in the B1G in strikeouts with 371, as well as third in the league in strikeouts per nine innings (8.2) and sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.87).
Senior Ethan Landon and junior Riley McCauley are both ranked in the top 15 of the B1G for strikeouts. Landon is tied for sixth with 68 and McCauley is 13th with 59. Redshirt-freshman Mason Erla and sophomore Mitchell Tyranski are not too far behind with 49 Ks each.
Climbing Strikeout Record Book
The Spartan pitching staff now has 371 strikeouts this season, cracking into the MSU single-season top 10 record book. MSU has rung up 400+ strikeouts in each of the previous three seasons, including school record 466 Ks in 2016 and 420 last season.
1. 2016 466
2. 2017 420
3. 2015 409
4. 2002 390
5. 2012 389
6. 1998 380
7. 2004 378
8. 2018 371
9. 2014 355
10. 2010 335
11. 2011 332
12. 1987 324
KL Is Gonna' Rock You
The Spartan pitching staff is also the only staff in the B1G with three pitchers in the top 15 for strikeouts looking, as sophomore Mitchell Tyranski and redshirt-freshman Mason Erla are tied for 11th with 18 KLs each, while senior Ethan Landon is tied for 15th with 16 strikeouts looking.
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 14 double-digit strikeout outings this season, including at one point logging a stretch of three in a row and four in give games. Most recently, Michigan State had 12 strikeouts in the 6-5 win at No. 16 Minnesota on May 11.
MSU also had double-figure Ks in two of the three games at Northwestern, with 10 punchouts on April 22 and 11 Ks on April 20, which came on the heels of 12 Ks against Valparaiso in the opener of a twinbill on April 13. The Spartans also fired 11 Ks vs. Nebraska on April 8, a day after chalking up 10 strikeouts against the Huskers. MSU also had 12 Ks 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.
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 struck out eight in 7.0 IP at Northwestern on April 20. He has rung up six in four different games, giving him six or more Ks in seven of his 10 outings this season.
Landon is seventh in the B1G with 68 strikeouts, including tied for 15th with 16 strikeouts looking, as well as seventh in innings pitched with 76.0 IP, along with just outside the top 15 in the league in both ERA at 4.38 and opposing batting average at .263.
The Spartan hurler has also earned the win in three of his last five starts, along with MSU earning the win in his last outing but getting a no-decision in a 6-5 win at No. 16 Minnesota.
Now with 68 strikeouts this season, Landon has not only topped the 50 Ks mark for the second time of his career, but he has surpassed 59 punchouts during his sophomore season of 2016 for his career-best.
For his career, Landon now has 161 strikeouts, needing just 19 more to crack the MSU career strikeouts top 10 list, as Mick VanVossen (2012-15) and Mickey Sinks (1959-61) are tied for the No. 9 spot with 180 career 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 moved to the starting rotation and 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 righty is 13th in the B1G with 59 total strikeouts this season.
Back Out Of The Pen For McCauley
After starting in his first seven appearances, Spartan junior pitcher Riley McCauley has shifted back to the bullpen for his last nine appearances and has been lights out.
In those nine appearances, primarily as the Spartans' closer, McCauley has a 0.00 ERA in 14.2 IP, with 23 strikeouts, while chalking up five saves and a 1-0 record over that span, yielding just 12 hits, and just three of them being for extra bases.
McCauley is tied for sixth in the B1G overall in saves with five, as well as fifth in B1G only games with five saves.
Mason Mowing ‘Em Down
MSU redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla is sixth in the B1G in opposing batting average at .220, as well as tied for 11th in strikeouts looking with 18.
Now with five wins this season, Erla leads the Spartan staff and ranks tied for 13th in the B1G.
Erla is also just outside the top 15 in the conference in innings pitched, now at 68.2 IP, as well as just outside the top 20 in the B1G in strikeouts with 49 punchouts. For the season, Erla is 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA, logging 49 strikeouts in 68.2 IP.
Erla started and went 6.0+ IP in both of MSU’s shutouts this season. He fired six Ks vs. Rutgers on April 1, which was 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 four of his last seven outings after five strikeouts at Penn State on May 5.
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 Tyranski
MSU sophomore relief pitcher Mitchell Tyranski has a 2.48 ERA in 24 appearances this season, allowing just 10 earned runs. He had a streak of four appearances without allowing a run snapped with a run on April 7 vs. Nebraska, but does have 16 appearances on the season of not allowing a run.
Despite allowing a run for the first time in five appearances, Tyranski struck out a career-high nine batters vs. Nebraska, nearly doubling his previous high of five vs. Pepperdine (2/24). Tyranski pitched 4.0 innings vs. the Huskers, picking up his second save of the season.
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.
The Spartan lefty is tied for 11th in the B1G with four saves, as well as tied for eighth in B1G only stats with two saves in conference games. Tyranski is also tied for 11th overall in strikeouts looking with 18 KLs, 13th in conference only contests with 13 batters struck out looking. He also is tied for fourth with the 24 appearances and tied for fifth with 23 games in relief, overall, as well as tied for third in B1G only stats with 11 appearances and tied for third in B1G ony with 11 games in relief.
Tyranski now has 36.1 IP this season, with 49 strikeouts and allowing just 28 hits and 10 earned runs, holding opposition bats to a paltry .212. Tyranski would rank fourth in the B1G in both opposing batting average and ERA, 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.
Scouting Central Michigan
The Chippewas have a 22-28-1 overall record, after a five-game week last week. CMU opened the week with a 9-2 loss at home to Michigan on Tuesday, but bounced back to beat Cleary, 8-0, Wednesday. The Chips then played a three-game Mid-American Conference series at Miami (Ohio), and had similar series results as MSU, winning Friday's opener, 6-2, before dropping Saturday's contest, 4-2, and falling, 13-8, on Sunday in the series finale.
CMU is hitting .268 as a team, led by redshirt-freshman catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell's .329 average, with 34 RBI, seven doubles and four HR, posting a .462 slugging percentage and a .449 on-base percentage. Sophomore infielder Zach Heeke is hitting .315 with 21 RBI, five doubles and one triple, as well as swiping seven stolen bases, two behind team the co-leading junior outfielder duo of Daniel Robinson and Jacob Crum with nine swipes apiece.
The Chips' pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.74, with 445 strikeouts (8.8 pg) and 249 walks (4.9 pg). Sophomore right-hander Cameron Brown is slated as the probable starter for Tuesday's match-up, bringing a 2-1 record and a 6.67 ERA into the contest. Brown has 28.1 IP with 24 Ks, nine walks and a .287 opposition batting average.
Steve Jaksa is his 16th season leading the Chips, with a record of 500-419-2.
The Spartans host Ohio State in a three-game B1G series, Thursday-Saturday, May 17-19. The series opens Thursday at 4:05 p.m., with Friday's game also slated for a 4:05 p.m. start time, and both Thursday and Friday's games are on national television on Big Ten Network. Saturday's Senior Day is set for 1:05 p.m., honoring the Spartan seniors in a pre-game ceremony.