Leading Off… Michigan State Plays At No. 16 And B1G Co-Leader Minnesota In Weekend Series

  • Michigan State baseball heads to Minneapolis, Minn. to take on No. 16 and Big Ten Conference co-leader Minnesota in a three-game weekend series at the Golden Gophers’ Siebert Field. Friday’s opener is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by Saturday’s 3 p.m. ET start time The series finale on Sunday is slated for a 2 p.m. ET first pitch.

 

  • The Spartans in the midst of a week of action in which they’ll tangle with both teams atop the Big Ten Conference standings, as Michigan and Minnesota are tied with 14-3 B1G marks. MSU lost to Michigan on Wednesday in a non-conference contest before this weekend’s three-game series at Minnesota.

 

  • Fans can follow this weekend’s Spartans vs. Golden Gophers contests through “Live Stats,” “Listen Live” and “Watch Live” links found at MSUSpartans.com. This weekend’s action between Michigan State and Minnesota will be video streamed on BTN2Go, 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.

 

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 310-228 (.576) 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 335-262 (.561) ledger.

 

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.         310

 

Home Staters

Michigan State has 21 players on its 2018 roster from the state of Michigan, while Minnesota has 20 players who are natives of the North Star State. While the Spartans do not have any Minnesota players on its roster, the Gophers have one player from Michigan, in sophomore first baseman Jacob Herbers, who is a native of Battle Creek, Mich.

 

Series History vs. Minnesota

Michigan State is 41-86 all-time vs. Minnesota. MSU is making its first trip to Minneapolis since 2015, as the Spartans and Gophers didn’t face each other in 2016 and Minnesota visited East Lansing last season. After MSU had won three in a row in the series, Minnesota has won the last five, including sweeping last season’s series in East Lansing, including a pair of 1-run ballgames in a doubleheader on April 1, 3-2 and 4-3, before a 9-4 contest in the series finale on April 2. The Spartans have won nine of the last 16 in the series. Under Coach Boss, MSU is 11-9 against Minnesota.

 

Michigan State vs. Minnesota Series Breakdown

Overall: 41-86 / H: 24-36 / A: 15-44 / N: 2-6 / Series Streak: MINN W5

First Met: May 14, 1925 – East Lansing, Mich. – MSU W, 5-2

Last Meeting: April 2, 2017 – East Lansing, Mich. – MINN W, 9-4

Last Meeting In Minneapolis: May 16, 2015 – MINN W, 2-1

 

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.

 

Nail-Biters

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 25 of MSU’s 43 games of the 2018 season have been 1-run or 2-run games, with the Spartans posting a 5-8 mark in the 13 1-run contests, as well as 12 other 2-run games, which MSU is 6-6, after all three games of the Northwestern series April 20-22 and two of the three games vs. Maryland April 27-29 were determined by two runs or less.

 

The Spartans’ 25 games decided by two runs or less out of 43 games is the most in the country by percentage (58.1 pct.), and the third-most by number, behind Elon with 27 and Fordham with 26 games determined by 1-run.

 

The 13 1-run games is the eighth-most in the country (according to research collection by Chris Rash of Elon), and ninth-most by percentage, as last weekend’s opponent, Penn State, and the season’s opening opponent, Fresno State, have been in 17 and 16 1-run games, respectively, just behind Elon which has been involved in 18 1-run games. Virginia Tech, Arizona and Fordham have 15 each, followed by UMass Lowell with 14, then MSU with 13. 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.

 

 

One-Run Games

Elon     18 of 49 games (36.7%)

Penn State      17 of 41 games (41.5%)

Fresno State   16 of 48 games (33.3%)

Virginia Tech  15 of 46 games (32.6%)

Fordham         15 of 46 games (32.6%)

Arizona           15 of 46 games (32.6%)

UMass Lowell 14 of 44 games (31.8%)

Michigan State          13 of 43 games (30.2%)

UNCW 13 of 47 games (27.7%)

Loyola Marymount    11 of 45 games (24.4%)

Coastal Carolina        11 of 49 games (22.4%)

Stetson           11 of 48 games (22.9%)

 

Games Decided by 1-2 Runs

Elon     27 of 49 games (55.1%)

Fordham         26 of 46 games (46.4%)

Michigan State          25 of 43 games (58.1%)

Virginia Tech  22 of 46 games (47.8%)

Penn State      21 of 41 games (51.2%)

Fresno State   20 of 48 games (41.7%)

UNCW 20 of 47 games (42.6%)

Stetson           19 of 48 games (39.6%)

Arizona           19 of 46 games (41.3%)

UMass Lowell 18 of 44 games (40.9%)

Loyola Marymount    18 of 45 games (40.0%)

Coastal Carolina        18 of 49 games (36.7%)

 

Double-Digit Hits

Michigan State has double-digit hits in 10 games this season and the Spartans are 8-2 when posting double-figure hits, losing to No. 10 Clemson on March 7 despite 14 hits and loss to Valparaiso on April 13 with 11 hits. MSU’s most recent double-digit hit outing was at Penn State on May 5 with 10 hits.

 

Spartans Swiping ‘Em Up Boosted By Sophomore Speedsters

MSU enters the weekend leading the B1G and ranking 15th in the NCAA in stolen bases with 84, as well as ranking tops in the conference and 10th in the country in stolen bases per game (1.95).

 

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 26 stolen bases, while fellow sophomore outfielders Danny Gleaves and Justin Antoncic are tied for third and tied for 14th in the conference with 20 and 12 swipes, respectively. Junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski is just outside of the top 15 with eight stolen bases.

 

Now with 84 stolen bases, the 2018 Spartans are climbing up the top 10 of the MSU record book for single-season stolen bases, now at No. 4. The 2018 season marks the third time in last four years that the Spartans have had 80 or more base swipes, joining 2017 (No. 2 w/ 96) & 2014 (No. 3 w/ 88).

 

TEAM STOLEN BASES

  1. 2005    98
  2. 2017      96
  3. 2014    88
  4. 2010    86

1978    86

  1. 2018      84
  2. 1988    80
  3. 2006    78

1969    78

  1. 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 26 bases on the season. He is also eighth in the nation in stolen bases per game at 0.63. 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 19 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 has sole possession of the No. 4 spot with 26 base swipes, while Gleaves is tied for No. 13 with 20 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

  1. Jimmy Pickens           22         2014

Brandon Eckerle        22         2011

Brandon Eckerle        22         2010

  1. Joe Gavel        21         1969

Kirk Gibson    21         1978

  1. Danny Gleaves                20           2018

Chuck Fawcett           20        1932

Jeff Holm        20        2011

—             Bryce Kelley      13            2017

—             Justin Antoncic             12            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 20 base swipes, ranking tied for third in the B1G and tied for 49th 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 346, as well as fourth 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 65 and McCauley is tied for 13th with 54. Redshirt-freshman Mason Erla is not too far behind with 44 Ks.

 

Climbing Strikeout Record Book

The Spartan pitching staff now has 346 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.

 

TEAM STRIKEOUTS

  1. 2016    466
  2. 2017     420
  3. 2015     409
  4. 2002    390
  5. 2012     389
  6. 1998    380
  7. 2004    378
  8. 2014    355
  9. 2018      346
  10. 2010    335
  11. 2011     332
  12. 1987    324

 

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 13 double-digit strikeout outings this season, including at point logging a stretch of three in a row and four in give games. Most recently, MSU 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 tied for sixth in the B1G with 65 strikeouts, including tied for 12th with 16 strikeouts looking, as well as sixth in innings pitched with 71.2 IP, along with just outside the top 15 in the league in both ERA at 4.14 and opposing batting average at .255.

 

The Spartan hurler has also earned the win in three of his last five starts.

 

Now with 65 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 158 strikeouts, needing just 22 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 tied for 13th in the B1G with 54 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 seven appearances and has been lights out.

 

In those seven appearances, primarily as the Spartans’ closer, McCauley has a 0.00 ERA in 12.0 IP, with 18 strikeouts, while chalking up four saves and a 1-0 record over that span, yielding just 10 hits.

 

McCauley is tied for eighth in the B1G overall in saves with the four, as well as fifth in B1G only games with four saves.

 

Mason Mowing ‘Em Down

MSU redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla is tied for sixth in the B1G in opposing batting average at .222, as well as tied for 10th in strikeouts looking with 17.

 

Now with five wins this season, Erla leads the Spartan staff and ranks tied for 10th in the B1G.

 

Erla is also just outside the top 15 in the conference in innings pitched, now at 62.2 IP, as well as just outside the top 20 in the B1G in strikeouts with 44 punchouts. For the season, Erla is 5-4 with a 4.16 ERA, logging 44 strikeouts in 62.2 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 2.53 ERA in 22 appearances this season, allowing just nine 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 15 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 eighth in the B1G with four saves, as well as tied for fourth with the 22 appearances and tied for eighth with 21 games in relief. He also ranks is tied for seventh in B1G only stats with two saves, in addition to ranking tied for sixth in conference only contests with eight batters struck out looking. Tyranski now has 31.2 IP this season, with 39 strikeouts and allowing just 24 hits and nine earned runs, holding opposition bats to a paltry .209. Tyranski would rank fourth in the B1G in opposing batting average and fifth in 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.

 

Glowing Gleaves

Spartan sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves has hit .347 (17-of-49) over his last 22 games, with two doubles and one triple in that span, logging a .444 slugging percentage and a .420 on-base percentage, along with swiping 10 stolen bases.

 

Gleaves was 4-for-4, including two doubles, and stole three bases in the nightcap at Penn State on May 5.

 

Gleaves is the first Spartan to go 4-for-4 in a game this season and the second to have four hits in a game, as junior infielder Royce Ando was 4-for-5 against Clemson on March 7. It was the second time this season and third of his career that Gleaves has swiped three or more bases in a game, also doing so against Illinois on March 9. His career-best was four stolen bases at UNCG last season on Feb. 25, 2017.

 

All-Around Antoncic

Spartan sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic leads MSU with a .288 average, as well as third on the team with six doubles and 12 stolen bases, along with fourth with 14 RBI, while leading the team with 21 walks.

 

With two triples, Antoncic is also second on the team and tied for 12th in the B1G. Antoncic is also tied for 13th in the league in stolen bases (12). He is tied for 10th in B1G only games with five stolen bases.

 

Antoncic also owns a share MSU’s longest active reached base streak, as his streak of 19 games was halted in the loss at Penn State on May 4, tying senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly for longest on the team, as Roskelly’s ended on April 29 vs. Maryland. Antoncic also had a 12-game reached base streak earlier in the season.

 

All-Tournament Accolades For Antoncic

Spartan sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic was named to the Dairy Queen Classic B1G/Pac-12 Challenge All-Tournament Team. Antoncic hit .462 for the weekend, including his first home run of his Spartan career off No. 11 UCLA, adding two doubles. He also posted the first three-hit outing of his career going 3-for-4 vs. Arizona, and also made a career-high six putouts in the field. He was also part of MSU’s three-run ninth inning rally for a 3-2 walkoff win over Arizona on Sunday, with a single and later scored the tying run. Antoncic also extended his hit streak to five-straight games, with multi-hit games in the last two outings.

 

Roskellying It Lately

Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly hit .750 (6-for-8) in the two games against Nebraska with two runs scored. Roskelly has hit .293 (24-for-82) over his last 22 games, raising his average from .080 entering MSU’s game on March 21, to its present level of .263, dipping down from .300 entering the series vs. Maryland on April 27-29.

 

Roskelly totes MSU’s longest hitting streak of the season at 15 games, which was halted on April 28 vs. Maryland, as well as the Spartans’ longest reached back streak of the season at 19 games, which was stopped on April 29 vs. Maryland.

 

He leads MSU with a .386 slugging percentage and is sixth on the team with a .323 on-base percentage.

 

Roskelly has a strong liking for Nebraska pitching, as his last three outings with three hits have been against the Huskers, with three hits in both games last weekend vs. Nebraska, which was not only a season-high output, but was his first three-hit game since last season vs. the Huskers on May 12, 2017.

 

Bechina Be Hittin’

Junior third baseman/outfielder Marty Bechina is hitting .340 (18-for-53) over his last 17 games with an .531 slugging percentage and a .450 on-base percentage over that period. Bechina has six extra base hits in that stretch with two home runs and four doubles.

 

Bechina was 3-for-5 with two RBI vs. Western Michigan on April 18. He had a home run in each game of the twinbill with Valpo on April 13, going 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in the opener before going 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs in the second game.

 

Chmashing Chmielewski

Junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski went 7-for-16 (.438) in the four games against Niagara, with two doubles and two triples, rapping an extra base hit in each game. Chmielewski finished with seven RBI, including four in the series opener, with three coming on a bases-loaded double as part of a five-run inning for the Spartans, boosting them to a 10-1 win.

 

For the season, Chmielewski has three triples, which is tied for second in the B1G and tied for 87th in the NCAA. Chmielewski also is fourth on the team with 13 RBI and tied for fourth with three doubles, hitting .236 on the season.

 

Chmielewski had an on-base streak of 10-straight games earlier this season.

 

McGuire For Two

Senior first baseman Zack McGuire leads MSU and ranks tied for 19th in the B1G with five home runs this season and all five are two-run round-trippers. He had a pair of two-run jacks in the Northwesten series.

 

Two-Run Thunder

Michigan State has 14 home runs so far this season and nine of them are of the 2-run variety, including three in the opening weekend, adding one at Pepperdine, one vs. Niagara, one against Rutgers and one vs. Notre Dame. Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly belted the Spartans’ first home run of the season, blasting a two-run home run to left field in the eighth inning, capping a four-run frame for the Spartans. Sophomore infielder/outfielder Justin Antoncic belted the first round-tripper of his Spartan career in the loss to UCLA.

 

All four of MSU’s runs in the 5-4 loss at Fresno State on Feb. 18 came via the long ball, with a pair of two-run home runs by junior third baseman Marty Bechina and senior first baseman Zack McGuire.

 

Bechina added a two-run round-tripper at Pepperdine on Feb. 24, after Roskelly had a solo shot the day before. Bechina and Roskelly share the team lead with two home runs each, ranking tied for 14th in the B1G. Against Niagara, McGuire belted a two-run round-tripper over the wall in right and into the Red Cedar River for MSU’s first home run at home this season. McGuire struck again with a two-run shot vs. Rutgers. Roskelly blasted a two-run shot to left against Notre Dame on April 10.

 

Freshman catcher Adam Proctor added a three-run shot vs. Notre Dame on April 10, as MSU now has eight of its 10 home runs be multiple-run round-trippers, including the last four homers.

 

McGuire had a pair of two-run blasts in the Northwestern weekend, smacking one in the first inning of the opening game Friday and another in the eighth inning of Sunday’s finale, retaking the lead for MSU at 6-5 for the final score.

 

All five of McGuire’s team-lead tying home runs this season have been two-run shots.

 

Streaking Spartans

Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly had a 15-game hitting streak halted on April 28 vs. Maryland, and a 19-game reached back streak snapped a day later vs. Maryland, as the hit streak is the longest of the season for MSU and the reached base streak is tied for the longest, as sophomore outfielder/infielder Justin Antoncic also had a 19-game reached base streak, which was snapped May 4 at Penn State.

 

Antoncic enters the weekend with the longest active streak, now at three games, while Roskelly, sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves and junior outifielder/infielder Marty Bechina have two-game streaks … Gleaves had a seven-game hitting streak halted on May 4 at Penn State … along with Roskelly’s 15-game streak, freshman utility player Zach Iverson also had a 10-game hit streak, while sophomore outfielder Bryce Kelley ties Gleaves for the third-longest streak at seven games … Antoncic and senior first baseman Zack McGuire possess the next longest MSU overall streaks of the season at six games … junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski and freshman infielder Ryan King are two of the other Spartans who have had five-game streaks.

 

Antoncic had a 19-game reached base streak snapped May 4 at Penn State, tying Roskelly for the longest of the season … that was Antoncic’s second stretch of at least a 12-game reached base streak this season … Kelley is next with a 13-game reached base streak … Chmielewski, Iverson and McGuire have both had 10-game reached base streaks earlier this season … Roskelly, Antoncic, Iverson, Gleaves and junior catcher Nic Lacayo all enter the weekend with the longest active reached base streaks of three games.

 

Freshman shortstop Ryan King and Kelley share the team lead with 12 multiple hit outings … King has 11 two-hit games along with collecting a season-high three hits at Penn State on May 4 … Kelley has 12 multi-hit games, logging nine games with two hits and three three-hit outings … Antoncic has 10 multi-hit games with eighth two-hit outings and a pair of three-hit games … Chmielewski has eight multi-hit outings, with seven two-hit games and one three-hit contest … Bechina has seven multi-hit outings with five games with a pair of hits, along with two three-hit outings … McGuire has seven multi-hit games, with four two-hit outings and a team-lead tying three three-hit games … sophomore outfielder Danny Gleaves tied the team-best with four hits at Penn State on May 5, tying junior infielder Royce Ando for the most hits in game this season for MSU, as Ando rapped four hits vs. No. 10 Clemson on March 7.

 

Late Inning Scoreboard Lighting

Of Michigan State’s 180 runs scored this season, a combined 90 runs (50.0 percent) have been scored after the fifth inning, plating 15 runs in the sixth, 32 in the seventh, 31 in the eighth, 11 in the ninth and one in extras.

 

Those numbers are bolstered by MSU’s nine-spot in the seventh inning against Nebraska on April 7, which is the most runs scored in an inning this season by the Spartans. MSU had a stretch of a big seventh inning in two of three games, hanging seven in the seventh against Notre Dame on April 10.

 

Michigan State also had a four-run eighth inning of game one of the opening weekend at Fresno State, adding one run in the first game of the doubleheader on Feb. 17. MSU scored two runs in the eighth against Washington on March 2. The Spartans scored three in the eighth vs. Niagara on March 15.

 

MSU had a big sixth inning on Feb. 24 at Pepperdine, plating four runs. The Spartans also plated two runs in the sixth frame at Fresno State on Feb. 18.

 

Scouting Minnesota

The 16th-ranked Golden Gophers are 32-12 overall and 14-3 in B1G action, currently tied atop the league standings with Michigan. Minnesota has won four in a row as part of winning 16 of its last 18 games. Last weekend, the Gophers swept No. 15 Indiana in a home three-game series, opening with a 4-1 win on Friday, then a 9-1 triumph on Saturday, before completing the sweep with a 7-6 walk-off victory in the 10th inning in the series finale on Sunday.

 

Minnesota is hitting .302 as a team, led by junior infielder Terrin Vavra, who is hitting .405 with 42 RBI and seven HR, with a .620 slugging percentage and a .477 on-base percentage. Vavra is second in the B1G in average, fourth in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging percentage, tied for 10th in RBI and tied for 11th in HR. Junior outfielder Ben Mezzenga is hitting .382 with 21 RBI, while junior catcher/infielder Cole McDevitt shares the team-lead for home runs with Vavra with seven, and senior outfielder Alex Boxwell tops the team with 11 stolen bases.

 

The Gophers’ pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.24, with 338 strikeouts (7.7 pg) and 144 walks (3.3 pg). Freshman right-hander Patrick Fredrickson has a 7.0 record with a 1.44 ERA in 10 starts, logging three partial shutouts. In 68.2 IP, Fredrickson has 55 strikeouts and 16 walks, while limiting the opposition to a .195 average. Fredrickson leads the B1G in opposing batting average, while ranking second in ERA and 12th in strikeouts. Junior lefty Reggie Meyer has a 2.99 ERA with a 5-2 record in 12 starts, with 72.1 IP, logging 44 Ks and 11 BB with opponents hitting .245 against him. Freshman righty Max Meyer leads the Gophers and ranks second in the B1G with 12 saves, logging 27.2 IP with a 1.95 ERA and a 1-2 record, firing 31 Ks and nine walks, while limiting opponents to a paltry .163.

 

Minnesota swept the B1G Weekly Awards, as Vavra was named the Player of the Week and Fredrickson was both the Pitcher of the Week and the Freshman of the Week.

 

Minnesota head coach John Anderson is in his 37th season at the helm of the Gophers’ program. Anderson has amassed an overall record of 1,276-835-3, and is the all-time winningest coach in Minnesota history and was the 10th-youngest collegiate coach to 1,000 wins. Anderson has a B1G record of 573-341 and is the all-time winningest coach in B1G history. Anderson and his assistant Rob Fornasiere, are in their 34th season together and are the longest tenured coaching pair in the nation.

 

Up Next

The Spartans return to the Mitten State for the final four games of the regular season, opening Tuesday, May 15 at Central Michigan at 4:05 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant, Mich., before hosting 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, with Saturday’s Senior Day set for 1:05 p.m., honoring the Spartan seniors in a pre-game ceremony.

 

Last Weekend Recap

MSU made the longest trek of its B1G ledger this season, heading to University Park, Pa., to take on Penn State, dropping the three-game series. The Spartans lost the opener on Friday, 13-1, before weather altered schedule for a doubleheader on Saturday, with PSU winning the opener, 6-1, before MSU bounced back in the nightcap, 6-4. After the weekend, Michigan State hosted Michigan on Wednesday in a midweek, non-conference contest, losing by a final score of 10-2.

 

Erla 10 Innings Big Ten Freshman Of The Week

Spartans redshirt-freshman pitcher Mason Erla was the 10 Innings Big Ten Freshman of the Week after his performance in Michigan State’s 1-0 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 25. Erla went 5.0 IP with four strikeouts and allowed just two hits with no walks, retiring the last 11 of 13 batters faced to earn his first collegiate win.

 

Chmielewski And McGuire Earn Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District® Accolades

Michigan State baseball student-athletes Dan Chmielewski and Zack McGuire were both named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District® Baseball Team on May 10, selected by CoSIDA, which recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.

 

Chmielewski and McGuire were both on the District 5 list, which consists of Division I schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The MSU duo are one of a pair of teammates, joined by Luke DeVenney and Zach Owings from Eastern Michigan, and were two of three players from Big Ten Conference teams honored in District 5, along with Jack Dunn of Northwestern. Chmielewski and McGuire were two of a total of four Big Ten players honored, joined by Dunn, Micah Coffey of Minnesota was recognized for District 6.

 

This is the second-straight year that Chmielewski and McGuire have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. Chmielewski and McGuire will now advance to the Google Cloud Academic All-America® ballot, with first- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees to be announced in June.

 

Last season’s honors made Chmielewski and McGuire the first Spartan baseball players to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors since Brandon Eckerle in 2011. Overall, they are 15th and 16th honors, and the 13th and 14th players, joining Eckerle as the Spartans’ only multiple honorees.

 

A native of Shelby Township, Mich., junior outfielder Chmielewski has a 3.98 GPA as a psychology major. Chmielewski is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, as well as the 2017 MSU Distinguished Scholar-Athlete recipient. On the field, Chmielewski is hitting .236 this season and ranks third in the B1G in triples with three, as well as just outside the top 15 of the B1G rankings with nine stolen bases. Chmielewski had an on-base streak of 10-straight games earlier this season. He also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage playing right field.

 

McGuire is a native of Sterling Heights, Mich., and the Spartan senior has a 3.78 GPA as a packaging major. He is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and the 2018 MSU Scholar-Athlete Award recipient. On the diamond, McGuire leads MSU with five home runs, all two-run round-trippers; shares the team-lead with 21 RBI; and ranks third on the team with a .365 slugging percentage. In the field, he has started 36 games at first base, where he ranks 13th in the B1G in putouts with 201 and is tied for 15th in the league in fielding double plays with 24.

 

 

Roskelly Walk-Off Repeat

Spartan senior catcher/first baseman/designated hitter Chad Roskelly drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off fielder’s choice in the 3-2 come-from-behind victory for MSU over Arizona on March 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Roskelly plated senior infielder Kory Young with the winning run, beating out the throw to first for the game-winner.

 

That was the Spartans’ first walk-off victory since a 7-6 win over Western Michigan last season on May 10, 2017 at Comerica Park, and was identical as it was also on a walk-off fielder’s choice and off the bat of Roskelly, with him beating out the throw at first in both wins.

 

Roskelly is one of three players in the country (according to available research) to drive in walkoff game-winning runs in identical fashion, joining Kyle Kasser from Oregon along with Nick Dalesandro of Purdue.

 

Roskelly – Michigan State – Fielder’s Choice

1) vs. Western Michigan (2017)

2) vs. Arizona (2018)

 

Kasser – Oregon – Walk

1) vs. Oregon State (2015)

2) vs. Mississippi State (2017)

 

Dalesandro – Purdue – Single

1) vs. Cal State Northridge (2016)

2) vs. Incarnate Word (2018)

 

Three MSU Baseball Players Collect Big Ten Preseason Plaudits

Michigan State had three players on the Big Ten Conference Preseason Players to Watch List, as the conference announced its preseason honors list and preseason poll on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

 

The league’s coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three student-athletes from their own squads to a Preseason Honors list.

 

MSU Preseason Honorees included sophomore outfielder/pitcher Bryce Kelley, senior pitcher Jake Lowery and junior pitcher Riley McCauley.

 

Kelley, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American last season, becoming the eighth Freshman All-American at MSU and the second under head coach Jake Boss Jr. to earn Freshman All-America accolades, joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team, and was also the B1G Freshman of the Week. He was Michigan State’s starting left fielder in all 24 B1G games, playing in 41 games overall with 38 starts, and led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average.

 

He hit safely in 22 of 24 conference games, featuring a pair of 10-game hitting streaks in conference only action, with 20 in last 21 league contests, ending the 2017 season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games. Kelley also tied for 17th in the B1G with 13 stolen bases, ranking tied for 11th in the conference only stats with six swipes.

 

Lowery, a Howell, Michigan native, made 22 appearances including four starts, logging a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 IP. He ranked second on the MSU pitching staff and ninth in the B1G with 70 strikeouts, as well as leading the Spartans and ranking ninth in the B1G with 21 strikeouts looking. Lowery also ranked 10th in league for strikeouts in conference only games with 37 Ks, as well as tied for 11th with 11 batters struck out looking. After coming out of bullpen in his first 18 appearances, Lowery made four-straight starts.

 

Lowery’s bullpen highlights included earning a split shutout, pitching 2.1 IP with three strikeouts in 2-0 win over Ohio State (April 14). Lowery fired a combined 20 strikeouts in two-consecutive outings without an earned run, first chalking up a career-best 11 strikeouts in 5.2 IP in a no decision at Northwestern (April 28) and followed that with nine Ks in 7.2 IP vs. Iowa (May 6). Lowery added eight strikeouts in 3.0 IP without an earned run vs. Campbell (March 17), one of his four outings of 3.0 IP or more without an earned run.

 

McCauley is a native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and appeared in 25 games last season as a reliever, is shifting to a starting role this season. Last year he posted a team-leading nine saves, which ranked tied for fourth in B1G and tied for 59th in the NCAA. The nine saves tied for the third on the MSU single-season saves list (since 1986). For the season, McCauley posted a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 IP with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He ranked 13th in the B1G in conference only games with 33 strikeouts in league play, and also tied for third in both appearances and games in relief in conference only games with 13.

 

He earned a save in his first five appearances, picking up his first career save in MSU’s 9-7 win at Abilene Christian (Feb. 18), with 1.2 IP, one strikeout and no earned runs. He also collected a pair of saves in as many outings at UNC-Greensboro, in the 5-4 win on Feb. 24, with two Ks in 1.0 IP and the 22-16 victory on Feb. 25 with 1.1 IP and one K. McCauley fired three or more strikeouts in eight outings, led by a career-high six Ks in career-high tying 3.0 IP at Michigan (May 19), and added five punchouts at Nebraska (May 14). He opened the season with streak of 6.2 IP without an earned run and later had stretch of 12.1 IP.

 

Hello Home

The Spartans’ 2018 slate includes a 12-game homestand as part of 26 total home games at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium. The 12 home games in a row is the longest homestand since 2000 when Michigan State had 14-straight home contests, while the 26 total home games are the most since 2005 when MSU also had 26.

 

Road Ready

Michigan State opened the season with its first 14 games away from home, including beginning with seven true road games followed by seven neutral games.

 

Two Of Spartans’ Five All-Big Ten Honorees Return in ‘18

Two of Michigan State’s five players that All-Big Ten accolades last season return in 2018 in designated hitter Chad Roskelly, who was tabbed to the All-Big Ten second team list, while outfielder Bryce Kelley was named to the all-freshman team.

 

Roskelly, a Macomb, Mich., native, played in 39 games, starting 29, all as designated hitter last season. He was third on the team with a .324 average and posted 24 RBI with three HR and six doubles. Roskelly tallied a .463 slugging percentage and a .427 on-base percentage, which would have tied for ninth in the B1G but he just missed the minimum requirement.

 

After starting the season slow after recovering from an injury, Roskelly ended the 2017 season with a hit in 13 of last 14 games, including a 13-game hit streak from April 28 – May 18. The 13-game hitting streak was tied for second-longest on the team. Roskelly hit .379 (22-for-58) over the last 15 games of the season with 14 RBI in the span, along with a .522 slugging percentage and a .433 on-base percentage, which raised his average from .260 entering April 28 to finish with a .344 average. He ended the season on an MSU-best 17-game on base streak. Roskelly had eight multi-hit games, including four contests with four hits.

 

Kelley, a native of Rockford, Michigan, was a Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American last season, becoming the eighth Freshman All-American at MSU and the second under head coach Jake Boss Jr. to earn Freshman All-America accolades, joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team, and was also the B1G Freshman of the Week. He was Michigan State’s starting left fielder in all 24 B1G games, playing in 41 games overall with 38 starts, and led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average.

 

He hit safely in 22 of 24 conference games, featuring a pair of 10-game hitting streaks in conference only action, with 20 in last 21 league contests, ending the 2017 season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games. Kelley also tied for 17th in the B1G with 13 stolen bases, ranking tied for 11th in the conference only stats with six swipes.

 

Kelley Freshman All-American

Michigan State’s Bryce Kelley was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American. Kelley became MSU’s eighth Freshman All-American and second under head coach Jake Boss Jr., joining second baseman Ryan Jones in 2010. A native of Rockford, Michigan, Kelley was also on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team and earned MSU’s Steve Garvey Most Improved Player award. Kelley led MSU with a .353 batting average overall, ranking third in the B1G. Kelley was also seventh in the B1G only stats with a .364 batting average. Kelley ended the season on a 13-game overall hitting streak, which started a day after his previous 13-game hitting streak was halted, finishing the season with a hit in 26 of last 27 games and 29 in 31 games.

 

A Numbers Game

In 2017, MSU’s offense led the Big Ten in on-base percentage (.378), while ranking second in the B1G in batting average (.290), second in slugging percentage (.440), on-base percentage (.378), doubles (113) and stolen base attempts (123), along with ranking third in stolen bases (96). The 96 stolen bases was the second-most in school history. On the mound, an MSU pitcher has led the B1G in ERA in both overall and conference games the last two seasons. Walter Borkovich led the B1G with a 2.01 overall ERA and a 0.64 ERA in league games in 2017. Additionally, MSU has posted its top three strikeout totals in school history in the last three seasons with 409 strikeouts in 2015, 466 punchouts in 2016 and 420 in 2017.

 

Spartan Roster Breakdown

Michigan State’s 2018 roster consists of eight seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and 10 freshmen.  The Spartan seniors include returning All-B1G honoree catcher/first baseman Chad Roskelly, along with Preseason B1G Honoree Jake Lowery, as well as pitchers Ethan Landon, Andrew Gonzalez and Keegan Baar, plus first baseman Zack McGuire, catcher Will Salter and infielder Kory Young.

 

Highlighting the juniors is pitcher Riley McCauley, who was a Preseason B1G Honoree, along with infielders Marty Bechina and Royce Ando, along with outfielder Dan Chmielewski. The junior class added a pair of junior college transfers in pitcher Evan Flohr and catcher Nic Lacayo.

 

The sophomore class is headlined by returning Freshman All-American and Preseason B1G honoree Bryce Kelley, as well as outfielder Danny Gleaves, infielder/outfielder Justin Antonic and pitchers Mitchell Tyranski, Mike Mokma, Sam Benschoter and Caleb Sleeman. A new sophomore to the Spartans’ roster is junior college transfer Bailey Peterson, who will see action both at infield and outfield.

 

The freshmen class has three redshirt-freshmen in pitchers Mason Erla and Zac Bianucci along with outfielder Joe Stewart. The true freshmen group includes utility player Zach Iverson, along with pitcher Jesse Heikkinen, infielders Ryan King, Brendan Regan and Peter Ahn, along with catchers Adam Proctor and Scott Combs.

 

Racking Up Awards On And Off The Field

Michigan State was recognized with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award. Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were honored with the award, which recognizes teams coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2016-17 academic year. In total, 221 programs were recognized with the 2016-17 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award, including 70 high school programs and 60 teams from NCAA Division III. MSU had a 3.22 GPA this year, which is the highest in program history. The Spartans are one of two Big Ten teams on the 36-team list for NCAA Division I teams, joined by Minnesota.

 

Milestone Victories

Michigan State’s 2,300th win came on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, becoming just the fifth team in the Big Ten Conference and the 32nd team in the country with 2,300 wins. Here’s a closer look of MSU’s milestone wins:

 

1st Win May 19, 1884

100th Win       May 26, 1905

500th Win      April 25, 1945

1,000th Win    May 13, 1972

1,500th Win    April 27, 1991

2,000th Win   April 6, 2010

2,300th Win    Feb. 17, 2017

 

 

Now Pitching For The Spartans…

Michigan State utilized 14 different pitchers last season, with 11 of them posting 10 or more, and five with 20+ appearances. Of those five pitchers with 20 or more appearances, two of them return in senior Jake Lowery and junior Riley McCauley. Last season, McCauley made 25 appearances, all in relief. He logged a team-leading nine saves, which ranked tied for fourth in B1G and tied for 59th in the NCAA. The nine saves tied for the third on the MSU single-season saves list (since 1986). For the season, McCauley posted a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 IP with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He ranked 13th in the B1G in conference only games with 33 strikeouts in league play, and also tied for third in both appearances and games in relief in conference only games with 13.

 

Lowery made 22 appearances including four starts, logging a 3.71 ERA in 51.0 IP. He ranked second on the MSU pitching staff and ninth in the B1G with 70 strikeouts, as well as leading the Spartans and ranking ninth in the B1G with 21 strikeouts looking. Lowery also ranked 10th in league for strikeouts in conference only games with 37 Ks, as well as tied for 11th with 11 batters struck out looking. After coming out of bullpen in his first 18 appearances, Lowery made four-straight starts to end the season.

 

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