LAS VEGAS – Bradley senior outfielder Mike Tauchman was 2-for-5 with three runs batted in, including a walk-off single in the ninth inning, leading the Braves (3-6) to a 6-5 win against Hawai’i (0-10) Friday afternoon in the Rebel Classic at UNLV’s Wilson Stadium.
The pitching combination of sophomore Stephen Toma and Elliot Ashbeck limited Hawai’i to two runs through seven innings, but the Warriors touched reliever Patrick Flanagan for three runs in the top of the eighth to forge a 5-5 tie.
Freshman Brent Stong (2-1) helped set up the walk-off opportunity by preventing any further damage by getting out of the 8th-inning jam. After pinch-hitter Trevor Podratz tied things up with a 2-run double, Stong relieved with the runner at second and one out. He got Kalei Hanawahine to fly out to center field and Kaeo Aliviado to ground out to end the threat.
Stong worked out of trouble again in the ninth inning after a leadoff error put the potential go-ahead run on base. Alternating outs with a base hit and a walk, Hawai’i loaded the bases with two outs, but Stong fanned Marc Flores to end the threat.
Freshman shortstop Tyler Leffler, who was 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt in his four plate appearances, led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. After David Compitello struck out and Leffler took third on a balk, freshman right fielder Brady Wilkin drew a walk to put runners on the corners in front of Tauchman, who delivered with the game-winning single to right field.
After Hawai’i took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, Tauchman put Bradley on top, 3-2, with a 2-out, 2-run double in the bottom of the fifth. Wilkin stretched the lead to 5-2 with a 2-run home run in the seventh.
The Braves will continue play in the Rebel Classic Saturday night against host UNLV in a rematch of Thursday night’s 8-6 Rebels victory. Bradley will wrap up play in the round-robin event Sunday against Loyola Marymount.
NOTES: A day after its first-ever game against UNLV, Friday’s game was Bradley’s first-ever baseball game versus Hawai’i … Bradley sophomore center fielder Max Murphy hit a 2-run double in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, dating back to last season … Junior designated hitter drew a walk in the first inning, but finished 0-for-3 to end his 7-game hitting streak … Bradley hit three doubles in the 3-run fifth inning, which started with back-to-back 2-baggers by third baseman Paul Solka and first baseman Derek Sprout … Junior catcher Austin Jarvis threw out two of the four Hawai’i runners who tried to steal against him.