MSU looking to add to seven-game streak playing Central Michigan, Western Michigan this week
Both games start at 3:05 p.m. on the Spartans’ home diamond, with MSU hosting Central Michigan on Tuesday and Western Michigan on Wednesday. The Spartans also will host Purdue this weekend in a three-game conference series.
MSU (17-11 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) enters the series after going a perfect 5-0 last week, with its only blemish coming in an exhibition loss to MLB minor league foe Lansing Lugnuts in the Crosstown Showdown event. The Spartans picked up their first sweep of the season this past weekend, holding the Siena Saints to only two runs in three games.
Head coach Jake Boss Jr. is expecting both Mid-American Conference foes to present tough matchups this week.
“We’re going to get their best effort and we know that those guys are going to be ready to play us,” Boss said.
Central Michigan (19-12, 8-1 MAC) enters the game playing some of its best ball as well, winning nine of its last 11 games. The Chippewas currently are in first place in the MAC.
Western Michigan (13-14, 4-5 MAC) also poses a challenge for the Spartans on Wednesday, having proven they can play with some of the best in the country. The Broncos knocked off then-No. 7 Louisville earlier this season, and hold the all-time series advantage against MSU.
Despite picking up the sweep this weekend, junior outfielder Jimmy Pickens said the offense needs to gain some consistency in its play as it prepares for the midweek games.
“As hitters, we need to be more consistent,” Pickens said. “Put big at-bats in big situations, but I think we did that (last) weekend and it’s a step in the right direction.”
The matchups this week will also pose added significance because they are against in-state rivals. With Michigan not on the schedule this year for the first time since 1945, junior first baseman Blaise Salter said these other in-state battles are even more important.
“We want to be the state champions,” Salter said. “... They compete the same way we do.”