Sean Gagnier

Michigan Baseball Staff Writer

 

The Spartans are in Lexington, Ky. to take on the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats in a weekend series, that Coach Jake Boss Jr. has targeted as being huge for his program this season. Michigan State's spring break trip has seen four games canceled due to weather, but a win over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday lifted the Spartans record to .500 heading into the Kentucky series.

This is just the third meeting between the Spartans and Wildcats, with the last meeting coming in 2006 and the first coming in 1913. Michigan State has had an up-and-down season to date, with weather wreaking havoc and inconsistent play taking its toll.

Kentucky, on the other hand, comes into the series at 11-1 and on an eight-game winning streak. The Wildcats lone loss of the season came against Kansas State on Feb. 21.

Andrew Waszak will get the ball for the Spartans on Friday (3/8) to open the series and will attempt to bounce back from a less than stellar outing against Austin Peay on Sunday. In Waszak's last outing he pitched six innings, giving up five runs, three of the earned for his first loss of the year.

David Garner, the stand-out pitcher from last season, will see action on Saturday when he starts Game 2 of the series. Garner, 2-0 on the season, threw seven shutout innings against Austin Peay surrendering just five hits while fanning seven.

Mick VanVossen will toe the slab for Game 3 on Sunday, trying to recover from a short outing in his last game, where he lasted 5 2/3 against Austin Peay and the Spartans lost 10-7. The sophomore performed well last season and Coach Boss has trusted him so far this season.

Kentucky comes into the series hot, having swept their previous series with Akron with a combined score of 37-4. That performance elevated sophomore A.J. Reed to National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Hitter of the Week. Reed turned in a .526 average against Akron, driving in 15 runs with two doubles and three home runs.

All games can be heard live on www.UKAthletics.com.