PEORIA, Ill. – Bradley failed to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities in the second, third and fourth innings and Illinois State took advantage as Chris Razo (5-0) scattered seven hits in a shutout performance, leading the visiting Redbirds to a 4-0 win in the opening game of a weekend series in the Interstate 74 Rivalry Friday night at Peoria Chiefs Stadium.
While Bradley starter David Koll (1-6) was perfect through the first three innings, the Braves (14-23, 1-12 MVC) put at least one runner in scoring position with less than two outs in three straight innings, but went 0-for-6 with those runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, Illinois State (25-16, 7-3) took advantage of its first two chances with runners in scoring position, getting an RBI single from Eric Aguilera in the fourth and a 2-out, 2-run single from Zac Johnson in the fifth.
The Braves tried to rally in the ninth, testing Razo when Elliot Ashbeck drew a leadoff walk and Brady Wilkin hit a 2-out single, but the Redbird right-hander used his 139th pitch to fan Nolan Sponsler to end the game. Razo struck out nine in his third complete game of the season and first shutout.
The teams will continue their weekend series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday at Peoria Chiefs Stadium. Freshman left-hander Brent Stong (4-2) will take the mound for the Braves, facing off against Illinois State sophomore right-hander Dan Savas (6-0).