NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the second day in a row, senior left fielder Mike Tauchman delivered the game-winning hit in Bradley's final at-bat, this time with a 2-out, RBI single in the ninth inning, lifting the Braves (8-9) to an 11-10 win at Lipscomb (7-14) Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field.
The Braves have won five straight games for the first time since March 17-25, 2011 and all five in true road games for the first time since a 7-game ride March 13-22, 2007 that started with a victory at Saint Louis and continued with six straight wins at Hawai'i-Hilo.
After Lipscomb rallied from an 8-2 deficit with three runs in the fifth and five in the seventh to take a 10-8 lead, junior right-hander Andy Johnson (1-0) made the Bradley comeback possible by retiring all six Bisons batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings to get the win.
Center fielder Max Murphy got the Braves to within 10-9 with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly, but the game-winning rally started at the bottom of the order with two outs in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Paul Solka got things started with a single and Isaac Smith, who hit his first career home run to lead off the fourth inning, drew a walk from his No. 9 spot in the batting order.
Second baseman Nolan Sponsler, who was 4-for-5 with two doubles and a walk, beat out an infield single that produced the tying run when the Lipscomb third baseman threw wild to first. With runners at second and third, Tauchman legged out another roller down the line that allowed Smith to race home for the go-ahead run.
Bradley pounded out 15 hits Sunday, including at least one from 10 different players.
With spring break underway at Bradley, the Braves will head from Nashville to Winter Haven, Fla., for four games in the 2013 RussMatt Baseball Central Florida Invitational. Bradley will face NCAA Division III power Washington & Jefferson Wednesday, before facing Dartmouth in a 3-game series Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
NOTES: Sponsler became the fourth Bradley player to enjoy a 4-hit day this season ... Tauchman extended his hitting streak to 11 games and pushed his season batting average to .400 ... First baseman Greg Partyka was 1-for-4 with a walk and now has reached base safely in each of the last 16 games ... Prior to this weekend, Bradley was 3-14 all-time on the road against Lipscomb and Belmont, but the Braves swept the 3-game weekend against both teams.