WICHITA, Kan. - Senior right-hander Justin Ziegler blanked Wichita State on four hits over 8.0 innings, but it still was not enough to break Bradley's road hex against the Shockers. Erik Harbutz drove home Tyler Baker with a 2-out single in the 10th inning, lifting Wichita State (31-22, 9-8 MVC) to a 1-0 victory against the Braves (25-21-1, 8-12 MVC) Saturday afternoon at Eck Stadium.
Wichita State has won 28 consecutive home games against Bradley and the Braves matched their longest skid of the season with their fourth consecutive loss. Bradley has either held the lead or been tied going into the ninth inning in three of the four losses in the current skid.
Ziegler turned in the best start of his career, scattering four singles with no walks and five strikeouts in the longest start of his career. The Shockers got only one runner to second base through the first seven innings against Ziegler and were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position against the Bradley starter.
Wichita State starter Kris Gardner was equally tough, however, also allowing only four singles with one walk and four strikeouts in 8.1 innings. Cale Elam (5-4) earned the win by getting the final five outs.
Bradley's best chance to score came in the third inning when David Compitello hit a 2-out single, advanced to second on an outfield error then tried to score on a Chris Godinez single. Left fielder Mikel Mucha made up for his error one play earlier by gunning down Compitello at the plate.
Bradley reliever Rob Kennedy (0-4) worked around a 2-out single and 2-base fielding error by center fielder Max Murphy in the ninth inning, but could not escape a leadoff single in the 10th. After a base hit, failed sacrifice and ground out, the Shockers had a runner at second base with two outs. The base runner, Baker, advanced to third on a balk, then scored the walk-off run on Harbutz's single to left.
Bradley will try to avoid the weekend sweep when the Braves close out the series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday at Eck Stadium. Senior lefthander Tory Doerr (4-2) is expected to face off against Shockers freshman righthander AJ Ladwig (4-1) in the Sunday finale.