PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley sophomore pitcher John Nasshan tossed eight shutout innings and closer Justin Ziegler worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to preserve a 4-0 win against Southern Illinois (18-29, 8-7 MVC) in the final game of the weekend Missouri Valley Conference set at O'Brien Field.
Bradley (22-23, 4-11 MVC) also blanked the Salukis in Friday's series opener and won its first Valley series of the season while also claiming its 100th all-time win at O'Brien Field since moving its home games to the downtown ballpark to start the 2003 season. The two shutouts were the first by the Braves in a Valley series since April 14-16, 2006, when Bradley blanked rival Illinois State in the first and third games in Normal. Bradley also shutout #27 Creighton in the first and third games of a home series March 24-26, 2006, the only other time the Braves have recorded multiple shutouts in a Valley series at O'Brien Field.
The Braves jumped on SIU starter Brad Drust (2-4) early, touching the Salukis lefty for RBI groundouts in the first and second innings and two more runs in the third. Designated hitter Brad Kimball and first baseman Jerrod Eigsti each delivered run-scoring singles in the third for the 4-0 lead.
Nasshan improved to 3-5 and earned his first career Valley victory, despite allowing 10 base runners in his 8.0 innings on four singles, five walks and a hit batter. The Salukis had at least one base runner in eight of their nine offensive innings, but got runners to third base in only the third and fifth innings, both times with two outs and Nasshan induced inning-ending ground balls to escape both jams. The 6-foot-5 right-hander threw a career-high 119 pitches in his second scoreless outing of the season. He completed a shutout March 12 versus Air Force.
The Braves will not play any games during the week due to final exams and will return to action next weekend by visiting Missouri State for a 3-game set at Hammons Field in Springfield. Bradley will play its final four regular-season games at home, beginning with the May 17 non-conference finale versus Eastern Illinois.