Chicago State Cougars Split Doubleheader with Pepperdine

Sophomore Michael Carpen
Sophomore Michael Carpen

MALIBU, Calif. – Chicago State baseball managed to split a doubleheader with No. 17 Pepperdine Saturday at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu, Calif., winning the first game by a score of 6-4 before dropping an 11-1 decision in the second contest. The Cougars improved to 2-20 on the season, while the Waves brought their season record to 15-6.

In the first game, Pepperdine took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning that started with freshman Nate Johnson lining an RBI single to center field to bring home senior David Harris from third base. Harris hit a one-out single to reach base. Junior Colin Rooney drove home senior Nate Simon, who posted a bunt single and stole second, after being hit by a pitch from CSU freshman starter James Tucker (Gary, Ind.).

CSU got on the board to cut its deficit at 2-1 in the second inning. Senior Patrick Hernandez (Romeoville, Ill.) led off with a single, moved to second on sacrifice bunt by freshman Jonathan Carpen (Whiting, Ind.) and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI single by senior Jeremy Perez (Chicago, Ill.).

Sophomore Michael Carpen (Whiting, Ind.) kicked off the third inning with a single up the middle and later scored on a Pepperdine fielding error as the Cougars eventually knotted the score at 2-2.

In the top of the fourth, the visitors claimed a slim 3-2 lead when Hernandez hit a leadoff double to right center and scored a couple of plays later on a wild pitch. The Waves came back in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3 after red-shirt junior Ryan Heroy led off with a single before scoring on an RBI groundout by freshman Brian Humphries to second base.

The Cougars broke the tie in the top of the seventh by putting three runs on the board to take a 6-3 advantage. Junior Kevin Hussey (Pickering, Ontario) started the inning with a leadoff walk and moved to second a bunt single from senior Kellon McFarlin (Chicago, Ill.) before scoring on a wild pitch. McFarlin later scored on an RBI infield single by Michael Carpen, who later scored on another fielding error by the Waves. A solo home by Humphries to left field in the bottom of the seventh closed out the scoring for Pepperdine.

Michael Carpen and Hernandez each went 2-for-4 and scored two runs to pace Chicago State offensively. Tucker (1-0) captured his first collegiate victory after equaling a season high with five strikeouts and walked two despite giving up four runs on seven hits.

Humphries hit 1-for-4 with two RBI to lead Pepperdine on the offensive end. Sophomore Tyler Hess (1-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on one hit while walking one batter.

The Waves started the second game with an early 1-0 leading margin in the first inning. Simon opened the inning with a single up the middle before crossing home plate thanks to a single from Rooney up the middle.

CSU evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by senior Preston Pires (Waipahu, Hawai’i) to left field. Pepperdine responded in the bottom half of the fourth with a six-run rally to reclaim the lead at 7-1 that was highlighted by a three-run homer to right field by Johnson.

The home team scored two runs in the fifth and sixth innings to provide the final margin.

Junior Matthew Frazee led the Waves by hitting 3-of-3 with four RBI and two doubles, while Simon finished 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Freshman Aaron Gates (2-1) earned the victory on the mound for Pepperdine after recording 10 strikeouts and walked three in six innings thrown to go along with allowing only one run on four hits.

CSU was led on the offensive end by junior Austin McDowell (Coal City, Ill.), who hit 2-for-4 on the day. Jonathan Carpen (0-1) took the loss for the Cougars when he gave up five runs on four hits in three and a third innings of work in addition to walking five.

Both teams will meet Sunday morning to conclude the series with a start time of 11 a.m., Pacific Time.