May 10, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern's baseball team will take to the road for the final time of the 2007 season this weekend when they head to East Lansing, Mich., to take on Michigan State. The first of a four-game Big Ten series is set for 1 p.m. (CT) Friday afternoon at Kobs Field on the MSU campus. The final three games of the series will be played at Oldsmobile Park in Lansing, Mich., home of the Lansing Lugnuts, a single `A' affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Michigan State enters the weekend after winning three of four from Ohio State last weekend in Columbus. They did lose a Wednesday contest at Illinois-Chicago 7-6.
Junior Steve Gerstenberg leads the Spartan squad with a .339 average, starting all 43 games. Outfielder Dennis Jones is tops with 33 RBI and 12 doubles. Jones and sophomore Kyle Day each have a team-high 13 stolen bases.
On the mounds for the Spartans, senior Craig Brookes has a team-best 3.52 ERA, throwing 69.2 innings in 11 starts. He has struck out 52 and walked only 15. Left-hander Jon Kibler has a team-best three complete games with a 4.11 ERA in 10 starts. He has pitched 61.1 innings. Junior Mike Monterey has seven saves and 1-2 record in 15 appearances. Sophomore AJ Dunn has a team-high 21 appearances.
Northwestern is coming off a 6-2 mid-week win over Illinois-Chicago and a series split at Minnesota last weekend. The Wildcats' hottest hitter Mike Kalina continued to swing a scorching hot bat, driving in two more runs in NU's win over UIC. In his last 12 games, Kalina has driven in 21 and boasts a .429 (21-for-49) batting average in that same span. He has recorded at least one RBI in 10 of the last 12 games and has had at least one hit in 11 of the last 12.
Third baseman Jake Owens leads the squad with a .359 average and has a team-best 33 RBI. Junior outfielder Antonio Mule has 32 RBI and a .345 average. He also has a team-high eight home runs.
On the mounds for NU, senior Ryan Myers picked up a save and a win last weekend at Minnesota. He has a team-best 4.04 ERA and has struck out 55 in 62.1 innings pitched. Freshman David Jensen has three saves, while Myers, senior Dan Schwartz and freshman Joe Muraski all have a team-high three wins.
Northwestern won three of four from Michigan State last year in Evanston.