DAYTON, Ohio – Bradley senior left fielder Mike Tauchman was 2-for-4 with a 3-run home run and the Braves (5-9) pounded out 12 hits in support of starter Stephen Toma en route to a 9-3 victory versus host Dayton (3-8-1) Sunday afternoon at Woerner Field.
The Braves completed their participation in the weather-abbreviated Dayton/Wright State Classic with a 2-1 record , winning their final two games in the event by outscoring the host Raiders and Flyers by a combined 21-6 score.
A sophomore right-hander, Toma (1-0) earned his first career victory in his third career start for the Braves. Toma did not allow a run until the sixth inning and ended his day by allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts Sunday. The Braves built their lead to 9-1 before Toma tired in the seventh and reliever Patrick Flanagan pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to close out the win.
Leading 1-0 through four innings, Bradley broke the game open with a 5-run fifth, highlighted by Tauchman’s first home run of the season. The Braves kept the big inning going as Max Murphy followed with a single and Greg Partyka a double. After a wild pitch scored Murphy, consecutive hit by pitches loaded the bases before Tyler Leffler drew a 1-out walk to complete the inning’s scoring.
Partyka added an RBI single in the sixth and pinch-hitter Curtis Bunch delivered a 2-run single in the seventh for the 9-1 lead.
Freshman right fielder Brady Wilkin was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Designated hitter Paul Solka became the second player (Matt Fritz April 17, 2010 vs. Creighton) in program history to be hit by three pitches in a single game and the Braves were plunked six times in total, equaling the second-most in a game and the most since the Braves also were hit by six pitches against Illinois Wesleyan April 27, 1932.
Bradley will make its second trip of the season to Nashville next weekend for a pair of games at Lipscomb (Friday and Sunday), as well as one at Belmont (Saturday).
NOTES: By going 2-for-4 and drawing a walk Sunday, Partyka has reached base safely in each of Bradley’s last 13 games … Tauchman extended his hitting streak to eight games … Shortstop Tyler Leffler saw his 7-game hitting streak end by going 0-for-3, but he drew a bases-loaded walk to reach base safely in an eighth consecutive game and for the 12th time in Bradley’s first 14 games … Bradley is 5-4 in its last nine games and the Braves have averaged 8.4 runs in the last nine games.