The Spartans play Notre Dame (14-21 overall, 3-15 ACC) today at 3:05 p.m., and travel to Central Michigan on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 3 p.m. MSU enters the week winning 10 of its last 12 games, including its most recent series victory against Purdue this past weekend.
Tuesday will be the first time since 1988 that Notre Dame visits McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field, as the Spartans look to continue a winning trend against the Fighting Irish. MSU is 15-2 in the last 17 against Notre Dame, including a 20-3 victory in 2011.
Despite winning four of its last five, the Fighting Irish have struggled in their first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame has been swept in four of its six conference series thus far, but has picked up non-conference wins over then-No. 24 Florida Atlantic and Big Ten foe Michigan.
Junior outfielder Blaise Lezynski leads the way offensively for Notre Dame, with a .338 batting average and 22 runs batted in. Lezynski is the only player on the Fighting Irish roster hitting above .300 with more than one at-bat this season.
The following day, MSU (20-13, 5-4 Big Ten) will make the short trip up the road to Mount Pleasant to battle non-conference rival Central Michigan.
The Spartans will look to avenge an embarrassing 10-1 loss at the hands of the Chippewas last week, a game that saw eight Spartan errors. Central Michigan was held to only four hits, but it was enough, with the Chippewas’ last seven runs coming unearned.
Senior catcher Joel Fisher said last Tuesday’s abysmal fielding performance was simply too much to overcome.
“What’d they score? 10 runs on four hits?” Fisher said following last Tuesday’s loss. “Yeah, I mean, you can’t win ball games doing that. You can’t win ball games giving up 10 runs, let alone 10 runs on four hits.”
Head coach Jake Boss Jr. also said the Spartan’s performance was “as embarrassing a loss” as he’s had since he took over at MSU six years ago.
Junior first baseman Cody Leichman, who drove in two runs last week against MSU, leads the Chippewas at the plate with a .357 batting average, 36 RBIs and four home runs.
The Spartans will enter the rematch winning three of their last four since the two teams last met.
Central Michigan (22-14, 10-2 MAC) has dropped two games in the same span, on the other hand.
Both games can be heard on the Spartan Sports Network or SpartanSportsNetwork.com.