MSU baseball faces No. 5 Texas A&M to open trip

Spring break is here and while many students head south for a week of fun, the Spartans are getting set for a busy week.

The Spartans (4-3) head to College Station to start the trip with three games against Texas A&M — the first time the Spartans and Aggies have met.

MSU is outscoring its opponents 41-22 this season, led by left fielder Jordan Keur’s Big Ten-leading .458 batting average, but will have its work cut out for it in facing two 2011 All-American pitchers.

The series opener on Friday will feature Spartans ace Tony Bucciferro (2-0, 2.25 ERA) against Michael Wacha (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who was named the Big 12 preseason pitcher of the year after a 9-4 campaign in 2011.

Saturday’s game might be even more intense, as it features MSU junior Andrew Waszak (1-0, 1.38 ERA) against TAMU senior Ross Stripling (1-0, 3.29 ERA), who led the nation with 14 wins in 2011. Stripling was a ninth-round selection by the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 MLB Draft but returned for another season.

“Anxious to play in front of 10,000 in College Station against #5 Texas A&M this weekend,” Waszak tweeted earlier in the week.

Waszak picked up a win in the First Pitch Invitational last weekend, after taking a hard-luck no-decision after throwing seven scoreless innings against South Florida two weeks ago.

Mike Theodore will take the ball in the third game, after throwing 7.2 innings of one-run ball against Miami (Ohio) last weekend.

The Aggies are coming off a season in which they won the Big 12 conference tournament, and entered 2012 as the preseason favorite. Along with two All-American pitchers, they Aggies also return All-American outfielder and reigning Big 12 player of the year Tyler Naquin, who led the nation with 104 hits last season.

Following the three-game set against the Aggies, MSU will head to Waco to play No. 21 Baylor on Wednesday before making its way to Florida for the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., where the Spartans will face Xavier, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh on March 9-11.

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Posted on March 2, 2012, in Baseball and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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