The Michigan Wolverines record sits at 17-15 coming into the series, with a 3-3 record in conference. The Spartans’ record is 13-16 with a 2-4 conference record. The Spartans come off of a midweek loss to the Western Michigan Broncos by a score of 17-8.
Spartans to Watch
The Spartan’s offense is spearheaded by two sophomore infielders, Mitch Jebb and Trent Farquhar. Jebb leads the offense with a .330 batting average and a .440 on base percentage with an impressive 24 walks through 29 games. He has racked up six doubles, two triples and three home runs through his 117 at-bats. Farquhar has a close second .325 batting average and gets on base at a .428 clip. He has nine doubles and three home runs on the season.
The Spartan pitching staff has posted average numbers so far this season — most starting arms hover around a 4.50 ERA. However, the Spartan bullpen has found success.
Closer Kyle Bischoff, who is a graduate transfer from Toledo, has posted a gaudy 0.61 ERA through 11 appearances this season, racking up six saves in the process. Another transfer, former Kalamazoo College Hornet, has found recent success in the bullpen for the Spartans as well. The 6-foot-7 southpaw, Jack Brockhaus, has a 3.97 ERA through his 11.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Keys to Victory for Michigan
In order to take the series, Michigan’s pitching must be able to cut the head off the snake and take care of the top half of Michigan State’s offense. The lack of depth in the Spartan lineup will show if the Spartans’ big bats are silenced throughout the series.
On the other side, Michigan’s bats must be able to knock the starting pitching out early and get deep into the Spartan bullpen. If both these things happen, Michigan should take the series and gain much needed momentum going into Ohio State week.
The series kicks off today at 5 p.m. at Cooley Law Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts. The following two games will be played Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., both at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium in East Lansing.