CHILLICOTHE, Ill. - The Braves outscored the Crimson Wave 37-4 in two seven-inning contests to earn a double-header sweep Saturday at Illinois Valley Central High School. In game one, Bradley set single-game records for runs (31), runs batted in (31) and homeruns (8) in a 31-4 victory. Freshman outfielder Bob Schuch (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice H.S.) paced Bradley's offense in the first game with two homeruns, including a grand slam, and seven RBI's.
Senior infielder Jordan Colvin (O'Fallon Ill./Southwestern Illinois College/O'Fallon Township H.S.) added a grand slam in the nightcap, while senior right-hander Kori Jensen (Wichita, Kan./Hutchinson County C.C./Goddard H.S.) and junior left-hander Eric Holmes (Wilton, Iowa/Des Moines Area C.C./Wilton H.S.) combined for 7.0 shutout innings as the Braves took game two 6-0.
Junior outfielder Brian Martin (Glen Ellyn, Ill./College of DuPage/Lombard Montini Catholic H.S.) opened the scoring for Bradley in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly to put the Braves on top 1-0. In the second, senior first baseman Mike McMillan (Bloomington, Ill./Normal University H.S.) ripped a leadoff homer to left field and sophomore third baseman Rob Elliott (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.) capped the frame with a two-run bomb to left-center to make the score 4-0.
The Braves used the long ball to plate three more runs in the third, including a solo blast by freshman outfielder Mike Tauchman (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd H.S.) and a two-run job by freshman outfielder Christian Segar (Mendon, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit H.S.) to take a 7-0 lead. Calumet scratched across a run in the top of the fourth, but the Bradley bats responded with eight runs on four hits in the bottom half for a 15-1 lead. After a leadoff walk to senior second baseman Matt Fritz (Northbrook, Ill./DePauw University/Glenbrook North H.S.), Elliott belted his second homerun of the game to make the score 9-1.
Four batters later, McMillan ripped a two-run single down the right field line for an 11-1 lead. The Braves added another run on a fielder's choice, while Fritz finished the scoring with a three-run jack to dead-center field. Bradley continued its barrage of runs in the fifth with 11 runs on six hits, including Schuch's grand slam, to go up 26-2. In the sixth, Schuch added his second bomb of the day for three of Bradley's five runs in the frame, making the score 31-2.
Sophomore left-hander Joe Bircher (Omaha, Neb./Roncalli Catholic H.S.) earned the win on the mound for the Braves, allowing one earned run on six hits in 5.0 innings of work. Bircher (3-4) also tied his career-high with 10 strikeouts in the game.
Junior first baseman Tyler Anderson (Chillicothe, Ill./Illinois Valley Central H.S.) made a memorable return to his high school alma mater by breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out RBI single to give the Braves a 1-0 edge. Bradley tacked on five more runs in the fifth, with four coming on Colvin's grand slam, for a final score of 6-0.
Jensen (5-3) picked up the win in his first start of the season, allowing just two hits while striking out six in 5.0 innings. Anderson finished 3-for-3 with the game-winning RBI to lead the Bradley offense.
The Braves (14-25) will wrap up the weekend Sunday with a 6 p.m. game against St. Xavier at O'Brien Field.