Spartans Overtaken By Waves, 5-1, Friday
Roskelly Belts Solo HR In Second Inning For Second Round-Tripper Of The Season
PEPPERDINE, Calif. -- Michigan State baseball was topped by Pepperdine, 5-1, Friday in the opening action of a three-game weekend series at Pepperdine’s Eddy D. Field Stadium, in MSU’s first-ever visit to Malibu.
Senior designated hitter Chad Roskelly gave the Spartans an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the second inning. However, the Waves hit two round-trippers of their own to overtake visiting MSU, taking advantage of some windy conditions blowing and gusting out to left field.
Michigan State is making its first-ever trip to Malibu to face Pepperdine, and the Spartans and Waves were meeting for just the third time ever, but first in the regular-season. Friday was also just the eighth all-time meeting between the Michigan State and Pepperdine athletic programs, with baseball the most meetings with three now, along two in women’s basketball and one each in men’s basketball, women’s soccer and men’s tennis.
Along with Roskelly, the Spartans were led by the keystone duo of sophomore second baseman Riley Peterson and freshman shortstop Ryan King. Peterson was 2-for-3 with a double, while King was 2-for-4.
Junior right-hander Riley McCauley started on the mound for the Spartans, going 4.2 innings, striking out six, but allowing 11 Pepperdine hits and all five runs. Sophomore Mike Mokma came on in relief, and pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit ball, striking out three and walking one.
Pepperdine had four players with two hits, getting home runs from Jordan Qsar and Chase Lambert. Wil Jensen earned the win on the mound for the Waves, going 8.0 IP, striking out nine, while allowing just five hits.
After the first five Spartan hitters were retired in succession, Roskelly hit a home run to left field in the top of the second.
The Waves quickly countered with a rally in the home half of the second, loading the bases with only one out after two singles and a hit-by-pitch, but McCauley fanned the next two Pepperdine batters to escape the jam.
McCauley was unable to escape a jam unscathed in the third, as Qsar belted a three-run HR, and Pepperdine kept the rally going, getting runners on first and third with only one out. However, McCauley again struck out the next two Waves’ hitters to thwart the threat.
Pepperdine added to its lead with a solo shot by Lambert to leadoff the inning, but the Spartan defense turned a double-play and McCauley added another strikeout to end the frame. The Waves tacked on another run in the fifth, chasing McCauley, for its 5-1 lead.
The Spartans rallied in the sixth with a one-out single by King, but that was wiped out with a double play to end the MSU threat.
Pepperdine attempted to add to its advantage in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with only one out, but Mokma got out the jam with a fielder’s choice for an out at home followed by a pop up. Mokma grounded the Waves in order in both the seventh and eighth frames.
The Spartans tried to rally in the top of the ninth, with back-to-back two-out singles by senior first baseman Zack McGuire and junior third baseman Marty Bechina, but a strikeout ended the rally and the game.
Game two of the Michigan State-Pepperdine weekend series is Saturday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, before the series finale on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.