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Spartan Sports Updates for mid-May, 2017
May 15th, 2017 by 89 Chemistry

ITEM:  MSU Men’s Golf has teed off in its second consecutive NCAA Regional.   A preview is here, and the leaderboard (which will be occasionally updated) is here:

 

ITEM:  MSU Track had its best day of the B1G Championships Meet yesterday.   Quoting (with minor editing) from the msuspartans.com release:

“Sophomore Justine Kiprotich captured the first gold medal of the 2017 Big Ten Outdoor Championship by winning the men’s 1,500m.   Kiprotich won his first career Big Ten title with a time of 3:48.72.   He was just shy of his personal best time of 3:42.36 at the Virginia Challenge in April.   The sophomore was a runner-up last season.

“’Justine has turned into one of the best milers in the region, and clearly has a chance to be an NCAA finalist,’  said MSU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth.   ‘To be a Big Ten champion as a sophomore is amazing.   I am seeing a guy really maturing.   He has a good race savvy.   He made a bold move with about 500 or 600 meters to go to get into running position.   When he got to the front with a little over 200 meters to go, he just powered away from the field.'”

…   “Senior Sherod Hardt had a solid showing in his final Big Ten Championship, finishing third in the men’s 5,000m.   Hardt clocked in with a time of 14:25.10.”

…   “’One of the hallmarks of a really good team is to be good at the end of the meet, in the 4×400 and the 5,000, it is a long weekend.   Some kids have doubled and some kids have waited their turn, but you still have to be mentally tough.   I was really pleased with how Sherod battled through the whole race.   He ran a tough race from start to finish,” Drenth said.'”

NCAA First Round participants will be announced on Thursday.

 

ITEM:  The newest version of Ralph Young Field — upon which MSU Field Hockey plays — is now being prepared.

 

ITEM:  MSU Softball was the best B1G team left out of the NCAA Tournament field.   It therefore was the B1G’s automatic qualifier for the inaugural National Invitational Softball Championships (analogous to the NIT, but with 48 teams).   The opening rounds are double-elimination in four-team regionals; MSU plays Murray State tomorrow at 5 PM ET and will play at least once on Wednesday.   The Region 3 winner will advance to a six-team Finals that will begin on Sunday.   The msuspartans.com story is linked here.

 

ITEM:  The first and second MSU Rowing Varsity Fours both finished fourth in the B1G Championships yesterday.   The NCAA field will be announced late tomorrow afternoon.

 

ITEM:  MSU Baseball will play at CMU tomorrow [4:05 PM ET] and begin a series at Michigan on Thursday.   Those three games will conclude MSU’s regular season.

 

ITEM:  The NCAA Women’s Golf National Championships begin Friday.

 

Go Green!

Day Trip to AA x 2
Apr 18th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The softball and baseball teams from Michigan State University travel 63 miles to the southeast to Ann Arbor, Michigan today to take on the Wolverines of the University of Michigan.

Both games are scheduled to start at 6PM.  Both games will be streamed live on BTNPlus and BTNToGo.  According to MSU and BTN, the softball game is scheduled to be telecast on BTN.  Note:  Yesterday DirecTV noted a “New” program change and listed the baseball game as being on BTN. Either way we will see MSU at UofM.

Both UofM squads are nationally ranked.  Technically, today’s baseball game is a extra scheduled contest and considered a non-conference game.

Softball preview is [here].

Baseball preview is [here].

 

College Basketball National Championship Thread
Apr 2nd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

As for college basketball March is over, but maybe not the madness. We have reached the National Championship Final. Today it is the ladies and tomorrow the men.

 

Other items of note for TUS Membership.

  • Guard Tori Jankoska received All-American Honorable Mention over the week for those that missed it.  Hmmm… 15 players better than Jankoska?  Really?
  • The MSU Baseball team lost to Minnesota 9-4 in East Lansing.  The Spartans (15-10) swept by the Gophers (18-8).  I knew Minnesota was good but I truly thought MSU would at minimum take the series and possibly sweep.  Good thing I only bet some of the Marine’s golf winnings and not my own.
  • The Spartan Women’s Softball Team won all three games against Maryland in East Lansing.  Granted Maryland (7-26-1 0-6) is not much this season, but the series sweep is encouraging. MSU (19-11 3-3) has not had a winning season since 2007 and went  winless in the B1G in 2012 (0-23).
  • Going into the last round of the Clemson Invitational MSU’s Womens’s Golf Team stands in fifth place at -1 PAR.  MSU’s Sarah Burnham is 8th overall.
  • Yesterday GoSt8Go successfully completed his first competitive race at the 10K distance (Monument Ave.).  I propose TUS change his name to Run GoSt8Go Run.

Who do you think will win the basketball games?  And what about those Tigers?

Read the rest of this entry »

Mixed Bag Saturday Thread: Spring Game to Final Four
Apr 1st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Saturday April 1st,  2017.  Is it time for April Fools pranks?  Not on this post, as there is way too much going on in TUSland.

  1.  No Joke, the empire known at UConn Women is over.  The streak of 110 games and 4 straight National Titles is caput.  Read [here].  12 Months and five days after losing by 60 points to UConn (in the 2016 Sweet 16) Mississippi State made up all those points, plus 2 more to dethrone the national champs in the 2017 Women’s Final Four game on Friday night.
  2. After 12 practices in a less than upbeat light hearted environment the Michigan State University football team conducts its Spring football game.  Gametime is 3PM (EDT) and the event is open to the public and will be broadcast on BTN.  The game is to be conducted almost a month earlier than normal. The normally quiet and close-to-the-vest Head coach Mark Dantonio has been almost silent.  Given the criminal investigations (and subsequent suspensions) of MSU football players and staff all following a 3-9 season a cloud hangs over MSU.
  3. Down the street and starting 5 minutes later positive vibes are likely reverberate as the Spartan baseball team (15-6 3-0) takes on highly regarded Minnesota (15-8 3-0) on Kobs Field at McLane Stadium.  The game (3:05 PM EDT) is available on TV at BTNToGo and radio on SpartanSportsNetwork.  More information is [here]
  4. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four resumes with the two National Semi-Final contests (CBS). #7 South Carolina vs. #1 Gonzaga tips off at 6:09 PM EDT. Approximately 30 after the end of the first game #3 Oregon takes on #1 North Carolina (eta 8:49 PM EDT).
  5. If the South Carolina Men’s team (a 7.5 point underdog) can win today; both the Men’s and Women’s squad will play in the National Title. In comments on previous posts Intrepid reporter USMC(retired) indicated there was bedlam in Columbia S.C. Oh, and to think it is has been 12 years since East Lansing experienced the same.
  6. The Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball finish their spring training season today in Miami FLA against the Marlins.  The past 10 seasons have been heady ones for the Tigers and their fans (of which Linda, Jeff, Kyle, Shae dog, Merry [Christmas] dog count as 5).  Those days seem to moving the status as “the past”.  However, at least Justin Verlander has returned to top form and life with Kate Upton is a “Perfect fit.”  See [here].
  7. No need to mention details about the Pistons or the Red Wings as that is too much negative ju-ju in one post.
  8. I think I now know how Eyeore feels after completing a post or comment.
  9. Wait, wait, wait-a-moment!  Norkfork Rancher is doing something very cool. NFR is deep into researching/experiencing family roots this very day. I know it is non-sports related and in most respects a somber event… but would it be okay with TUS Membership for NFR (if willing) to post a story about it?
300 for a Spartan
Mar 18th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Coach Jake Boss Jr. has so much respect in college sports and general that he was willing to pose with The Usual Suspects.

Michigan State University Baseball Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. earned his 300th career victory as the Spartans blasted the University of Richmond Spiders 13-4 on Saturday at Pitt Field in the Capitol city of the State of Virginia. MSU sits at 12-4 in 2017 and ranked #8 nationally in the RPI. In nine seasons under Boss, the MSU baseball program operates with great success in terms of respect, win-loss percentage, and national standing presence.

A full report on the game is [here].

Crisp Pitching in Crisp Air – MSU Takes Opener in Richmond Baseball Classic
Mar 17th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

MSU’s Riley McCauley throws a breaking ball – resulting in a swing and a miss to close out the game.

Behind smart, and at times, dominating pitching the Spartans of Michigan State (10-4) edged the Campbell Camels (7-11) 3-1 in the morning game of day one in the Richmond (VA) Classic.

The Usual Suspects (TUS) Senior Executive Management observed the game in-person after conducting closed hearings on the future of all members currently on double-secret probation.  “despite claims of material violation, no evidence has been provided to force a change in membership status for the individuals involved,” said Compliance Chairperson GoSt8Go from TUS Richmond offices.  “I cannot confirm or deny BostonSpartan needed the luck-of-the-Irish on this day to maintain good standing”.

MSU takes on host Richmond Spiders tomorrow at 2PM (EDT).  The Spiders beat Cornell 8-7.

Spartan pitchers were on top of their game from start-to-finish in a game played under clear skies and temperatures in the 30’s at the 10AM start..  Lefty Alex Croop baffled the Camels (and sometimes the home plate umpire) with a mixture of pitches that exhibited significant movement. Croop stuck out 10 in five innings.  TUS Charter Member IBelieve held vigil for a Pitch-Count Free event.  MSU Head Coach Jake Boss replaced Croop with Junior Jake Lowery at 100 pitches.  IBelieve has requested TUS investigate.  Lowery struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced – including the side in the bottom of the eighth.  Lowery walked off the field calmly after his last pitch with a well-deserved air of confidence.

The Spartans broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth when shortstop Royce Ando doubled down left-field line with runners on 2nd 3rd base. The hit was of blistering fashion hitting the ground just inside the base at 3rd. Ando almost accomplished the same result a few pitches earlier in the at-bat.  The difference in the two swings on a similarly located inside pitch appeared to be that Ando kept his hands inside of the ball while swinging through the pitch.

The full report and box score at MSUSpartans is located [here].

Can the Spartans Run the Table for BIG Title?
May 28th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

All that was right about Spartan baseball in its first 3/4 of the regular season and wrong in its last 1/4 of the regular season is now right again so far in the BIG Championship Tournament – starting pitching and timely hitting.

MSU is two games away from the title starting at 6pm EDT in Omaha NE.

What Spartan squad shows up?

MSU Clinches Berth in BIG Baseball Tournament—Tigers Fall To Rays
May 21st, 2016 by Kindle

In the second of three games against Michigan State, Maryland and the Spartans battled back and forth for 12 innings. In the 13th, Matt Byar’s sacrifice fly brought home the winning run for Michigan State, who took the game by a 4-3 score.

89 Chemistry reported that MSU did beat MD in 13 innings yesterday: They did it this way~~~  Matt Byars’ sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th inning lifted the Michigan State baseball team past Maryland, 4-3, on Friday afternoon at McLane Stadium. With the victory, MSU improved to 34-17 overall and 13-10 in league play, clinching a berth in next week’s Big Ten Tournament, May 25-29, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Maryland’s play in the field was full of mishaps, and the Spartans took advantage to tie up the series.  The two teams will wrap up the series and the regular season on today at 1:05 p.m.

Today’s MSU game can be listened to on the Spartans Sports Network, http://www.spartansportsnetwork.com/

Since Cameron Maybin joined the team this week wishful thinkers are wanting to imagine the Tigers have shown a little more emotion on the field.

The first half of May has been difficult to say the least.

RECORD

— 6 wins, 11 losses (4 against Twins, 1 each against Nats, Orioles)
— 1 series win, 4 series losses
— 1 sweep (win), 2 sweeps (losses)

Tale of the tape:

— 24% of games (4 of 17) with 2 or fewer runs (2 shutouts)
— 9 times with the bases loaded and unable to score
— Tigers hitting .156 (5 for 32) compared to .336 last year
— majority of failure to score runners due to strikeouts
— Average of 8-9 strikeouts per game with more games at/over 10+ each
— LOB for 17 games is 116 with app. 7 per game
— Runners in Scoring Position is only successful 26% of the time (34 for 130)

— 12 times a better hitter not used as a pinch-hitter (late in the game) with RISP for a game that technically was winnable
— The majority involved leaving Gose in to bat, followed by Upton
— 3 times top offensive players were never inserted into the lineup in close games

— Relievers inserted 7 seven times (5 games) only after 1-2 HRs had already cleared the bases
— Relievers entered games 8 times (7 games) at the beginning of an inning
— Relievers called in 14 times (10 games) in the middle of an inning with an average of 2.5 inherited runners already sitting on base

— 13 Ground Into Dbl Plays
— 6 stolen bases
— 8 bases lost due to caught stealing, pick-offs and failed extra base attempts

Today’s Tiger Game:  Detroit Tigers (19-22) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (20-19)

When: 4:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park.

TV: Fox Sports Detroit.

USMCRetired Announces Starting pitchers: Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer (2-1, 6.52 ERA) vs. Rays LHP Drew Smyly (2-4, 3.44 ERA)  Said USMC, ‘The guy the Tigers gave up on vs the new guy they hope for.”

Fulmer hasn’t had a quality start in any of his four outings, and has failed to pitch into the sixth inning in all of them. … Smyly, who was traded from Detroit to Tampa Bay in the 2014 David Price deal, hopes to add to the struggles of the Tigers against lefties. Smyly is seventh in the American League with 58 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.

Dick Enberg will call the Tigers game Saturday

Hall of Famer broadcaster and CMU graduate Dick Enberg will call today’s game alongside Kirk Gibson on FSD. (Incidentally, Enberg is a frat brother to Ben Green and NFR, though he preceded those two by a few years.)

Brad Ausmus hot seat update:

The Tigers’ four-game win streak ended Friday night in a 7-5 loss to the Rays in the series opener.  Now that the first manager has been released, news organizations are speculating on the next casualty and using computers to generate the odds of who will be next. In an analysis this week, one media company input over 15 factors used to evaluate a manager’s situation and put Brad Ausmus at the top of the list with the chance of him being released at 91%, followed by the Reds’ skipper, Bryan Price, at 56%.

MSU Baseball – From Muddling to Winner to Champion and Tournament Regular?
May 20th, 2015 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Spartan in Sand

The Spartans of Michigan State are in the men’s B1G Baseball Tournament Title hunt for the second year in-a-row..  They play the #4 seed Maryland Terrapins as the #5 seed tonight at 10PM (EDT) at Target Field in Minneapolis (BTN).  The Tournament is a double-elimination format.

For more background on the tournament look [here]

For a college baseball program winning 30 games in a 50ish game season is the target for success.  At 33-21 the Spartans have met that mark for the sixth straight season.  After starting 12-13 the Spartans are 21-8 and now one of the best teams in the B1G Conference. Currently they are ranked #48 in the RPI.

Since Jake Boss Jr. has taken the helm, MSU baseball has moved from being an after-thought to viewed as a winner.  In this time-span, the Spartans have won a share of the B1G Regular season and been selected for the NCAA Tournament one-time.

Can MSU move to the next level of reality and/or perception and become a frequent owner of the B1G Title and a regular in the NCAA Tournament?  Before Jake Boss arrived on the scene, my guess would have been – ‘not in my lifetime.’  As a coach of a program headquartered in a northern climate, Jake Boss Jr. has made MSU relevant on campus and in the B1G Conference.  It will be a big challenge for MSU and Boss to get to the next level. The first step to earning the change in status starts tonight.

  • A nice story on MSU baseball is located [here].
  • Two Spartans are named to the All-B1G baseball team and the story is [here].

With a just couple more buckets by his teammates Draymond Green would be averaging a Triple-Double in the 2015 NBA Post-Season.  Yes, you read correctly; averaging a Triple-Double!  After 11 games Day-Day’s numbers are: 13.7 Points, 10.7 Rebounds and 5.4 Assists.  The guy whose colors of choice are Green & White continues to play be able to play the Guard, Forward or Center positions to NBA standards.  Last night Green played Center with devastating [i.e., negative] results for the Houston Rockets.  The story is [here].

Saturday Sports Cavalcade
May 16th, 2015 by Kindle

Today’s Sports On TV:

Tigers at St. Louis 2PM FSD

Preakness Stakes at 4:30 PM NBC

The Spartans split their doubleheader with Minnesota yesterday winning the first game 5-4 and losing the second by a sore of 7-5.  They play again at 2:05 PM this afternoon.  Viewing is available on BTN2Go.com for those who subscribe through their cable or satellite provider.

After the first day of the Big Ten Track & Field Championships

Cynthia Watt wins the hammer throw on day one of competition.

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