PEORIA, Ill. -- Junior Jerrod Eigsti (Eureka, Ill./Eureka/Des Moines Area C.C.) drove in four runs and junior pitcher Justin Ziegler (Lenexa, Kan./Olathe Northwest) tied the Bradley season record with his seventh save of the season to help Bradley to a 14-9 victory against Western Illinois Sunday at O'Brien Field.
With the wind blowing out, the teams combined for 26 hits, but only four hits went for extra bases in the contest and the two teams also combined for eight errors and 10 hit betters on the afternoon. The Braves used a five-run sixth to go in front 9-6 and took the rubber-game of the three-game set from the Leathernecks with a 14-9 win to improve to 17-8 on the season.
Western Illinois (6-19 overall) led 6-4 after a solo home run by Austin Cowhey to lead off the sixth, but the Braves scored five runs on just four hits in the sixth to retake the lead.
Eigsti had a bases loaded single to center to drive in a pair and Bradley scored another run on a Western Illinois error. Sophomore Josh Camalick (Burr Ridge, Ill/Hinsdale Central) drove in two more with a single up the middle to cap the five-run sixth.
Bradley added four more runs in the bottom of the seventh to push the lead to 13-6. A pair of walks and single by junior Andres Rodriguez (Olympia Fields, Ill./Marian Catholic/Triton J.C.) loaded the bases for Eigsti, who drove in two more runs with a single up the middle. Rodriguez scored from first on a Leatherneck error on the play and sophomore Jason Leblebijian (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) plated Eigsti from third with a sacrifice fly to right.
Western Illinois struck for two runs in the eighth on a two-run single by John Koszulinskito pull within five runs (13-8), but Bradley scored one more run in the bottom half of the inning. Junior James Kottaras (Markham, Ontario/Millikin Mills/Connors State) led off the frame with a double and scored on a single off the bat of sophomore Bob Schuch (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice).
The Leathernecks had a leadoff double in the top of the ninth and scored on a balk, but Ziegler retired three of the next four batters to close out the win and pick up his seventh save of the year. Junior Danny Gifford (Highland, Ill./Highland/Wabash Valley College) earned the win in relief, giving up three hits and one run in 1.1 innings to improve to 2-1 on the year.
Western Illinois used seven pitchers in the contest. Brian Loconsole (0-1) took the loss, giving up two runs and one hit in the setback.
Eigsti finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI, while sophomore Mike Tauchman (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd) was 3-for-5 with two runs and two driving in. Camalick went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored and junior Rob Elliott (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored four times to highlight the day for Bradley.
Bradley closes out a five-game homestand Tuesday with a 6 p.m. game against Illinois at O'Brien Field.