Thursday, June 4, 2020

Baseball, softball preparing for road trips

April 17, 2014
<p>Junior outfielder/catcher Jimmy Pickens takes a swing at a ball during the game against Purdue on April 12, 2014, at McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans defeated the Boilermakers, 2-1. Danyelle Morrow/The State News</p>

Junior outfielder/catcher Jimmy Pickens takes a swing at a ball during the game against Purdue on April 12, 2014, at McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans defeated the Boilermakers, 2-1. Danyelle Morrow/The State News

Photo by Danyelle Morrow | The State News

MSU baseball will face potentially its toughest remaining opponent as it travels to Indiana, and softball will look to build off a midweek win as they make the trip to Iowa City, Iowa to battle the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Baseball

After another embarrassing loss at the hands of Central Michigan, MSU (20-14 overall, 5-4 Big Ten) will look to regroup at Indiana. Friday’s game starts at 7:05 p.m., Saturday’s at 2:05 p.m., and Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Indiana, who qualified for last year’s College World Series, is in first place in the Big Ten and has been hot as of late. The Hoosiers have won 10 of their last 11 games, including a walk-off win earlier this weekend against Western Kentucky.

MSU is led by freshman pitcher Cam Vieaux, who won conference honors as Big Ten Freshman of the Week. He’ll look to string together another solid outing after throwing a complete game and picking up a win against Purdue on Saturday.

Vieaux also picked up recognition from the Big Ten Conference earlier this season, but will face a tough test in Indiana.

Indiana (22-11, 8-1) is No. 11 in the RPI rankings and No. 21 in Baseball America’s top 25.

MSU, on the other hand, has been up and down in recent contests after dropping another game against Central Michigan on Wednesday. MSU is 3-3 in the last six games, with two of the those losses coming against the Chippewas.

MSU’s weekend pitching staff will need to remain hot to keep the Hoosiers’ loaded offense in check. The Hoosiers are led offensively by senior infielder Dustin DeMuth’s big bat. He boasts a .389 batting average, which ranks No. 35 in the country. Indiana also has three other players who are hitting above .300, and as a team, they average .283.

All of the games can be heard on SpartanSportsNetwork.com.

Softball

Through near perfect pitching and one clutch hit, MSU snapped a four-game losing skid against Eastern Michigan  on Wednesday.

The Spartans now will look to continue that momentum at Iowa.

The three-game series will begin on Friday at 7 p.m., with games also on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Junior outfielder Carly Nielsen said the win over Eastern Michigan was big in getting MSU (10-28, 2-12) back on track as they head into a critical series at Iowa.

“It’s good we’re coming out of this game feeling good,” Nielsen said after the win against Eastern Michigan. “I think we’re going to just keep rolling with it and roll right into Iowa this same way that we played today.”

Iowa (12-23, 5-9) enters the series on a winning streak as well, after sweeping a doubleheader against No.13/15 Missouri on Wednesday.

The two wins snapped a five-game losing streak for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa is led offensively by junior infielder Megan Blank and senior outfielder/infielder Brianna Luna.

MSU currently is in last place in the Big Ten, but could move out of the basement with a couple of wins this weekend.

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