PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley (11-18, 4-7 MVC) overcame a two-run deficit with eight runs in the final three innings for an 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference victory over Creighton Saturday night at O'Brien Field. The win was Bradley's fourth come from behind victory in the last five games.
Sophomore right-hander Jacob Booden (Vernon Hills, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) and Creighton starter Brandon Koenigstein were locked in a pitcher's duel until the top of the fifth, when the Bluejays plated a run on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 edge. Creighton added an unearned run in the sixth on an errant throw by senior first baseman Mike McMillan (Bloomington, Ill./Normal University H.S.) to make the score 2-0.
The Braves answered in the bottom half with three runs on three hits to take their first lead of the evening. Senior second baseman Matt Fritz (Northbrook, Ill./DePauw University/Glenbrook North H.S.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore third baseman Rob Elliott (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.). A single by junior outfielder Brian Martin (Glen Ellyn, Ill./College of DuPage/Lombard Montini Catholic H.S.) scored Fritz to pull the Braves within one, 2-1. Bradley's next two hitters, senior catcher Kevin Sullivan (Elmhurst, Ill./Oakton J.C./York H.S.) and sophomore designated hitter Brad Kimball (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley H.S.), followed with back-to-back singles. Kimball's knock plated Martin from second and moved Sullivan to third. Freshman Mike Tauchman (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd H.S.) capped the inning with a sac fly to center that scored Sullivan and gave the Braves a one-run lead, 3-2.
Creighton used another Bradley defensive miscue in the seventh to tie the game at 3-3, but the Braves quickly regained the lead with two runs on three hits in the bottom half, including an RBI triple by Fritz, to make the score 5-3. The Bluejays plated their third unearned run of the game in the eighth to pull within one, 5-4.
Kimball led off the bottom of the eighth with a double down the left field line. Freshman Christian Segar (Mendon, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit H.S.) entered the game to run for Kimball and moved to third on a groundout by Tauchman. After a strikeout by Creighton reliever Matt Patterson, McMillan redeemed himself with a two-out RBI double to left center on the 12th pitch of his at-bat. Freshman shortstop Jason Leblebijian (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.) followed with a double down the right field that scored McMillan and gave the Braves a 7-4 lead. Elliott added an RBI single to make the score 8-4.
Junior right-hander Patrick Cooper (Danville, Ky./Des Moines Area C.C./Boyle County H.S.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the victory, 8-4.
Kimball, Leblebijian, Martin and McMillan each had two hits, while senior right-hander Kori Jensen (Wichita, Kan./Hutchinson County C.C./Goddard H.S.) earned his fourth win of the season with 2.0 innings of relief work.
Bradley and Creighton will wrap up the three-game series Sunday at noon.