PEORIA, Ill. - Dallas Baptist pounded out 20 hits against Bradley's first five pitchers and cruised to a 16-7 victory in the final game of the regular-season Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Field.
With a repeat trip to the NCAA Regionals in sight, the Patriots (39-17) scored in each of the game's first eight innings, but did not truly break the game open until pushing across five runs in the eighth. While DBU must wait a week for the NCAA Tournament selections to be announced, Bradley (26-25-1) will play for an automatic bid to the regionals when the Braves open the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as the No. 7 seed Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) night against second-seeded and host Missouri State.
Bradley ended up using 20 players in Saturday's regular-season finale. Senior first baseman Jerrod Eigsti paced an 8-hit effort by going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in. Fellow senior, rightfielder Andres Rodriguez, was 1-for-3 with a walk in his second start of the season and freshman Anthony Athens hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning in his first career plate appearance.
Seven different Dallas Baptist hitters collected multiple hits, while Austin Elkins (4-for-6), Joel Hutter (2-for-4) and Ryan Behmansesh (4-for-5) each drove in four runs. The offensive outburst was more than enough for Patriots starter Michael Smith, who improved to 4-1 by allowing two runs on five hits in 5.0 innings.