NORMAL, Ill. - Elliot Ashbeck improved to 3-0 by tossing 7.0 scoreless innings, Tyler Leffler went 3-for-3 and Max Murphy drove in a pair of runs as Bradley (13-3) won its fourth straight with a 5-3 decision against Illinois-Springfield (7-5) Tuesday night at The Corn Crib.
Ashbeck extended the Bradley pitching staff's streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 34.0 by working around six hits in the first seven innings. Ashbeck struck out four and did not allow a walk. The Prairie Stars used five eighth-inning singles two score two runs off reliever John Nasshan and end the streak at 34.2 innings. UIS also plated one more run against closer Matt Dennis in the ninth, though the Bradley freshman earned his second save of the season.
Bradley steadily built a 5-0 lead through the sixth inning, but failed to put together a big inning against a quartet of UIS pitchers. Dan Pacha (0-2) was tagged for the loss by surrendering four runs, three earned, on nine hits in 5.0 innings.
Isaac Smith raised his national-leading batting average to .500 by going 2-for-3, starting with a leadoff single in the first. Smith took second on an errant pickoff throw and scored when Prairie Stars third baseman Nick Sanders threw wild on Spencer Gaa's bunt single.
Smith also started Bradley's scoring effort in the third with a leadoff double into the right centerfieldl gap and scored on Murphy's double into the left field corner. Murphy later scored on a Leffler RBI singlel for a 3-0 lead.
Bradley will return to The Corn Crib for a third straight game when the Braves take on MacMurray Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 o'clock.