WICHITA, Kan. - Senior catcher Kevin Sullivan (Elmhurst, Ill./Oakton J.C./York H.S.) was 2-for-5 with three runs batted in for Bradley (6-11, 0-2 MVC), but Wichita State (13-7, 2-0 MVC) scored nine runs in the first two innings and held on for an 11-8 Missouri Valley Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Eck Stadium. The two clubs combined for 26 hits in the game, including seven extra-base hits.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after an RBI single by freshman outfielder Mike Tauchman (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd H.S.), but the Shockers answered in the bottom half with five runs on five hits, including a two-run triple by Clint McKeever, to make the score 5-1. Wichita State plated four more runs in the second to take a 9-1 advantage.
In the third, Tauchman ripped an RBI triple and scored on a double by sophomore designated hitter Brad Kimball (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.) to cut Wichita State's lead to 9-3. Bradley added another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Sullivan to make it a 9-4 game.
The Shockers extended their lead to 11-4 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the Braves refused to quit. In the seventh, Bradley erupted for four runs on two hits, including a two-run homer by Sullivan, to pull within three, 11-8.The Braves had runners on second and third with one out in the eighth, but Wichita State's Remington Johnson recorded the final two outs of the inning and pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the win for the Shockers, 11-8.
Four different Braves had two hits in the game, including Sullivan, Tauchman, sophomore infielder Rob Elliott (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.) and senior first baseman Mike McMillan (Bloomington, Ill./Normal University H.S.). Sophomore left-hander Joe Bircher (Omaha, Neb./Roncalli Catholic H.S.) fell to 1-2 on the season after allowing nine runs on 10 hits in 5.0 innings of work.
The Braves and Shockers will wrap up their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.