All-Star selections highlight MSU players during offseason
Efforts for MSU baseball players to improve their games during the offseason have proved fruitful thus far, as four players have been named to their respective summer collegiate all-star games.
Sophomore left fielder Cam Gibson, junior first baseman Ryan Krill and senior RHP Chase Rihtarchik were named to the Northwoods League All-Star Game. Sophomore LHP Anthony Misiewicz also was named to the Great Lakes League All-Star Game.
Gibson leads the Battle Creek Bombers with a .352 average, 22 stolen bases and had a 27-game hitting streak.
“We really wanted to work on staying in the middle of field and trying to hit the ball hard to left center field for (Cam),” head coach Jake Boss Jr. said of Gibson’s efforts to improve his game. “You don’t hit .350 in a very good league like that without being able to spray the ball all over the park.”
Sophomore Anthony Misiewicz owns a 1.59 ERA and only has allowed three earned runs in 13 games for the Southern Ohio Copperheads. He ranks second in the Great Lakes League with nine saves and 22 strikeouts.
Rihtarchik owns a 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA in nine games, including seven starts, with the Alexandria Blue Anchors.
Boss Jr. said there was some consistency with Rihtarchik and his location, but when he stays in the strike zone he doesn’t get hit.
“He didn’t pitch in the Big Ten, maybe some of those free base runners that you give up get exploited in conference play,” Boss Jr. said. “So that was something, he went out in the summer to really work on and focus on staying in the strike zone not walking guys (and) not hitting guys.”
Rihtarchik said getting more reps and innings is always a good thing. He said it helps to stay fresh coming into fall.
“I think I’ve done a good job of being consistent (and) keeping the walks down,” Rihtarchik said. “Hit batters was kind of an issue last spring; those numbers have been down a lot.”
Krill is batting .274, with six homers and 33 RBIs this summer for the Lakeshore Chinooks.
Krill’s assistant coach, Scott Hood, said he has been very consistent this summer and has done a good job staying on every pitch.
“I think he’s improved using the whole field, not being so much of a pull hitter,” Hood said. “He’s always had good power — but now he’s certainly showing (he can use) the full field.”
Krill said he hasn’t had the best first couple of years at MSU. Over the summer he’s worked on getting a better swing and being more consistent at the plate.
“I did a few things to try to handle different pitches better, the more you can go to off field, the better hitter you’ll be,” Krill said. “(I just want to) be able to help my team out and hopefully get back to another Big Ten championship.”