Bradley Completes Sweep at Indiana State, 8-2
Release: Wednesday 05/06/2007 
by Bradley University
Ryan Curry was 3-for-5 with four runs batted in Sunday
Ryan Curry was 3-for-5 with...
Courtesy: Bradley University

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- After needing a pair of late-inning rallies to take the first two games of its weekend Missouri Valley Conference series at Indiana State, Bradley (27-16, 10-8) rolled to an 8-2 victory in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Sycamore Field.  By completing the three-game sweep of the Sycamores (21-23, 4-14), Bradley ran its winning streak to a season-best eight games and improved to 12-1 in its last 13 games.


Although he struggled with his control by walking four and hitting two batters, Bradley junior right-hander Chris Wright improved to 4-1 on the year by scattering five hits and allowing just one run in his 6.0 innings of work.  Freshman Brad Altbach, who earned the save in each of the first two games of the series, inherited a bases-loaded, one-out scenario in the eighth and pitched out of the jam without allowing a run, then worked a perfect ninth to close out the victory.


Senior second baseman Ryan Curry, The Valley’s top hitter this season, was the offensive star Sunday by going 3-for-5 with a double and four runs batted in.  He put the Braves on the board in the first inning by plating leadoff man Dan Brewer with a double to left centerfield.  Curry plated Brewer again in the third inning with a single to left for a 2-0 Bradley lead.  After going to third on Justin Carr’s base hit, Curry made it 3-0 when he scored on Ryan Eigsti’s sacrifice fly.  Paul Rice got in on the act in the fourth inning by driving home Peter Malinowski from second with a single to left for a 4-0 Bradley lead.


Indiana State could not take advantage of Wright’s wildness in the second inning after loading the bases with one out on two walks and a hit by pitch.  Ryan Bond popped out for the second and Sean Osborne flew out to right to end the threat.  The Sycamores actually had base runners in each of the first four innings, before finally breaking through against Wright for one run in the fifth, but again failed to take full advantage of the situation.


This time, the Sycamores loaded the bases with no outs on a Bond leadoff walk, an Osborne single and Wright’s second hit-by-pitch.  The run came home when Ryan Strausborger hit into the second of Indiana State’s three double plays.  After Nick Ciolli drew another walk, Chris Schmidt grounded out to Wright to end the potential big inning with the Sycamores still trailing 4-1.


Center fielder Brad Jones chased Indiana State starter Chad Dawson (2-2) by drawing a walk to open the sixth and reliever Andy Strange walked Brewer to put runners at first and second with no outs.  After Rice advanced the runners with his second sacrifice of the game, Curry came through again with a 2-run single to right field to push Bradley’s lead to 6-1.  After Colby Luttrell drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, the Braves used two bunts to complete their scoring.  Mike McMillan followed with the first sacrifice, but Sycamores third baseman Brett Siegmnud threw the ball down the right field line, allowing Luttrell to score and McMillan to motor around to third.  After Peter Malinowski flied out for the first out, Jones laid down a squeeze bunt to score McMillan for an 8-1 lead.


Junior right-hander Eitan Barbalat took over for Wright to start the seventh and worked out of another bases-loaded jam by getting Dave Brumagin to hit into an inning-ending double play.  Aided by a Brewer error on a potential fourth double-play ball, Barbalat worked himself into another bases-loaded jam in the eighth.  But after having already surrendered an unearned run in the inning, Barbalat gave way to Altbach, who escaped the jam by getting Strausoberger to pop out and Ciolli to ground into a fielder’s choice.


With final exams slated to begin this week, Bradley will not return to action until hosting Evansville in a 3-game Valley series next weekend at O’Brien Field.  Pitching coach Mike Dunne, who was the 1984 Valley Player of the Year, an Olympian and a five-year Major League Baseball veteran, will have his number retired in a ceremony prior to Friday’s 7 p.m. opener.  Head coach Dewey Kalmer, who earned his 1,000th career victory in Saturday’s 6-1 Bradley win, will be honored in another ceremony before the second game against the Aces and Bradley’s senior class will be honored before Sunday’s home finale.


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