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MSU baseball comes back to win in walk-off fashion against Western Michigan 5-4

April 9, 2015

After a three-game sweep at Oregon over the weekend, MSU baseball (16-14) returned to McLane Baseball Stadium to take on Western Michigan (11-16). The Spartans won in walk-off fashion after scoring two runs in the ninth to complete a 5-4 comeback victory.

Freshman pitcher Alex Troop started the game for MSU and pitched 5.1 innings while allowing two runs and strikeout 3 batters. Senior catcher Blaise Salter finished the game 3-for-4 with one RBI.

Sophomore pitcher Joe Mockbee (4-1) earned the win for MSU after pitching the eighth and ninth innings.

“I’m a little disappointed in the way we played today honestly,” MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. said. “We didn’t swing the bat very well.”

The Spartans got to Broncos starting pitcher Nick Bradley early with the help of WMU’s defense. After Bradley got MSU’s first two batters out, senior third baseman Mark Weist singled to keep the inning alive.

Salter followed up Weist by hitting a line drive double to left field. WMU’s Frank Tyler had a hard time fielding the ball, which allowed Weist time to score on the play.

The Broncos were able to take the lead in the top of the third inning with two runs, but Salter wasted no time tying the game.

With men on first and second base and two outs in the third inning, Salter hit another line drive single to left field that scored senior first baseman Ryan Krill. Krill got on base on a fielder’s choice play, and Weist recorded his second hit of the day to set up Salter for an RBI.

“It’s always huge to have guys…setting the table for me coming up,” Salter said. “Hopefully I produce sometimes and thankfully I did today.”

Krill regained the Spartans lead in the fifth inning after junior left fielder Cam Gibson scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Krill. Gibson was walked to get on base, stole second for his 13th stolen base of the season and then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt.

MSU would hold that 3-2 lead until the eighth inning when the Broncos scored two runs to take a 4-3 lead. WMU started the inning by getting its first two batters on base without a ball leaving the infield.

Jordan Tillman struck out to open the inning, but a passed ball by Salter allowed the batter to advance to first base. Nick Vogelmeier followed that up with a bunt single and after another bunt moved the runners to second and third base, Brett Sunde doubled down the left field line to score both runners.

Down by one run heading into the bottom of the ninth, Salter led off with a double to deep left-center field. After senior shortstop Ryan Richardson was hit by a pitch, senior center fielder Anthony Cheky drove a double over the right fielder’s head to tie the game at 4-4.

Following an intentional walk to load the bases, Boss brought in redshirt freshman Chad Roskelly to pinch-hit for Troop. Roskelly then drove a two-strike pitch to center field that was deep enough to score Richardson from third base.

“I was looking for (a fastball),” Roskelly said. “Kind of missed a couple in a row so I got behind early, but luckily I was able to stay behind on the off-speed pitch.”

The Spartans celebrated the walk-off win by mobbing Roskelly as he was rounding first base.

“I give our guys a lot of credit for coming back and putting together a lot of good at-bats in the ninth inning.”

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