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.
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
Center fielder Brad Jones chased
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