IOWA CITY, Iowa - Bradley sophomore right-hander Elliot Ashbeck (4-0) extended his scoreless streak to 24.0 innings by scattering five hits in 8.0 shutout innings, leading the Braves (15-5) to a 7-0 win at Iowa (14-7) Wednesday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
Ashbeck did not allow a runner to reach third base in his third consecutive win. He allowed only five singles and a walk, while striking out three to complete a scoreless month. Ashbeck has not allowed a run since giving up a 1-out sacrifice fly in the fifth inning of Bradley's 8-5 win Feb. 23 at Arkansas-Little Rock.
In keeping with a season-long trend, Bradley broke the game open by scoring all seven runs after the fifth inning. Off to their best 20-game start since 2005 (also 15-5), the Braves now have outscored their opponents 84-27 after the fifth inning this season.
Sophomore second baseman Chris Godinez and freshman third baseman Spencer Gaa both broke out of mini-slumps to pace Bradley's 8-hit attack. Godinez was 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, while Gaa was 3-for-5 with a double and stolen base. Godinez started Bradley's go-ahead effort in the sixth with a 1-out double. Gaa followed with an infield single and Godinez scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Bradley lead.
Gaa started Bradley's 6-run eighth inning with a leadoff single. After stealing second, Max Murphy followed with a 2-run home run. With his fourth home run of the season, Murphy has reached base safely in all 20 games this season. Isaac Smith, who started the week third nationally with a .481 batting average, broke the game open with a 2-run single later in the eighth and Godinez followed with a 2-run double to complete the scoring.
Eric Scheuermann worked around a single in the ninth to complete Bradley's second shutout of the season.
The Braves will make a fourth attempt to open its home schedule this weekend by hosting first-year Missouri Valley Conference affiliate member Dallas Baptist (17-7) in a 3-game series at Dozer Park. The series is being promoted as Kids Super Weekend and will begin with free window clings for the first 200 fans at Friday's 6 p.m. opener. Children in eighth grade and younger will be allowed to run the bases following Saturday's 2 p.m. game and all kids in eighth grade and younger in attendance Sunday will be allowed on the field pregame with the Braves for the playing of the national anthem.
For the first time since Bradley moved to Dozer Park, the Caterpillar parking lot across Jefferson Street also will be open for free parking beginning an hour before Friday's game and 90 minutes prior to the Saturday and Sunday contests.