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Spartan Baseball Series Preview: Eastern Michigan

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Michigan State gets ready to take on their second in-state foe of the week

Michigan State won a barn burner last night against Western Michigan. Thanks to designated hitter, Chad Roskelly, MSU walked off for the 7-6 win. With the victory, Michigan State improves to 25-19. Very few games remain on the schedule so from here on out every win is crucial to their tournament aspirations.

The Eagles are next on the list of opponents MSU will face this week — with them comes another shot at redemption because the Spartans lost their first game against Eastern Michigan earlier this year, 4-3, on April 4th in Ypsilanti.

These two teams split last years meetings — the Eagles took the first, 4-2. MSU recovered with a 3-2 victory later in 2016. If the Spartans win later on today then 2017 will be no different.

The Basics

The Numbers

  • Record: 18-30 (9-9 conference, 9-17 Away)
  • Best Win: vs Missouri (RPI: 44), W 6-2
  • Worst Loss: vs Miami (OH) (RPI: 231), L 2-6

Last Five Games

  • 5/7 — Kent State, L 0-2
  • 5/6 — Kent State, L 2-4
  • 5/6 — Kent State, L 4-9
  • 5/2 — West Virginia, L 1-17
  • 4/30 — Buffalo, W 4-0

Michigan State and Eastern Michigan are meeting for the second time this season, as stated earlier the Spartans lost a 4-3 battle in April. Under head coach Jake Boss Jr MSU is 12-6 against the in-state foe including six of the last nine going in Sparty’s favor.

The Spartans hold the all-time series against EMU with a 96-61-1 record. Along with an impressive 54-32-1 line when playing in East Lansing.

Eagles To Know

This past Thursday, Eagle right hander Brent Mattson was named the MAC West Division Baseball Co-Pitcher of the Week. The junior will share the award with Central Michigan’s Michael Brettell.

Mattson led his team to a 4-0 victory over Buffalo on April 30th. The veteran pitcher went seven innings deep without giving up a run — finishing his day allowing five hits, two walks, and 10 strikeouts. The K’s were a career high for Brent.

At the time he helped EMU improve to 9-6 in the conference and rid themselves of a five game losing streak. Since this outing the Eagles have slid to 9-9. This is the second time during his 2017 campaign that Mattson has been presented with these honors.

Offensively, the veteran John Montgomery has led the way for Eastern Michigan this year. He has came through for his team all year long and has really become the spark EMU desperately needed. The senior leads his team in six offensive categories.

His running mate and fellow senior, Jordan Peterson, has also helped pave the way for Eastern’s offense. Hitting .288 (47-163), seven doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 17 RBI.

How The Spartans Match Up

The Spartans are in no position to be dominant over this Eastern Michigan team. MSU barely got past a Western Michigan squad, who to be fair are highly efficient offensively but ultimately low tier competition.

It took everything the Spartans had last night in Comerica to beat the Broncos and even then they needed a walk off fielders choice to do so.

Michigan State is in bad shape from an overall perspective. As I’ve said in previous posts and previews this team is wildly inconsistent — no one knows which Spartan team is planning on showing up during a game to game basis. Sometimes MSU looks absolutely unstoppable and but more often they fall short.

Eight games are left in the regular season — the Spartans could very well win at least five of these. Can they do it? Yes. Will they? Who the hell knows. At this point it’s just as likely they lose all of the remaining games even though that shouldn’t be the case when facing Eastern.

Prediction

I thought it’d be a one run win for Michigan State when they faced Western last night. I wasn’t wrong. Although I had the score incorrect and certainly didn’t foresee a walk off win for the Spartans either.

My thought process isn’t going to change much in regards to their game with Eastern. Overall the Eagles should be an easy opponent for a Spartan team, that in my opinion is much better. But that likely won’t be the case — for most of the season MSU has been unable to grab a hold of big wins while also losing a few games they clearly should have won.

So when I say their match-up against Eastern is no different please know that I’m being completely serious. This is a pick-em and I’m going with Michigan State.

MSU 8 EMU 7