Seniors have keyed recent surge for MSU
All season long baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr. has made clear the importance of his seniors. He’s said before that much like the football and basketball teams, success starts with the players that have been on the team the longest.
“Our seniors have got to lead us, and we’ve talked about that before. It’s no different than football or basketball and Coach (Dantonio) and Coach Izzo saying it,” Boss said. “It’s the same thing for us.”
The MSU football team has had its fair share of important seniors and upper-classmen leading the way to the 2014 Rose Bowl and the 2015 Cotton Bowl, much like the basketball team had its juniors and seniors step up on their way to the Final Four.
As they did for basketball and football, it is the upperclassmen leading the way for baseball as well. As of April 19 the team had 195 RBI total. Seniors on the team are responsible for 121 of the 195 and junior outfielder Cam Gibson has another 21. In total, juniors and seniors are responsible for 143 of the 195.
“Our seniors have got to be our guys. They’ve played a lot of ball here, and they’re very talented players, and we need those guys to contribute. And they’re doing a good job of leading us,” Boss said.
All four of the Spartans batting .300 or higher that have played enough for it to matter are upperclassmen. Senior infielder Mark Weist is hitting .331, Gibson is hitting .331 as well, senior outfielder Anthony Cheky is hitting .324 and senior first baseman Ryan Krill is hitting .308.
“We’ve played a lot in our days (at MSU). Me, (Ryan) Krill, (Ryan Richardson) and guys like that,” senior catcher and first baseman Blaise Salter said. “We’ve played a lot of games since our freshman year, and we’ve put in a lot of hard work. And it’s good to see all the hard work pay off.”
Salter believes that the team is a close group of very motivated guys that plays for each other, but sometimes it takes a few guys to bring it all together. Salter believes the team’s strong leadership has been evident as of late, as the Spartans have won 11 of their last 13 games.
“We have a lot of guys who have played a lot of baseball for Michigan State,” Salter said. “We’re a pretty tight-knit group and pretty self-motivated as a whole, but it always takes a couple of guys to light the fire underneath people and get people going. We’ve got pretty strong leadership this year, and I think it’s showing as of late.”