Baseball

Braves Rally For 5-4 Win Over Indiana State
Release: Thursday 05/22/2010 
by BradleyBraves.com
PEORIA, Ill. - Junior Brian Martin drove in the game-winning run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to help Bradley rally for a 5-4 win against Indiana State in the final regular season game of the year Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Field.  The Braves took two of three games from the Sycamores with both wins coming in BU's final at bat.

Bradley (20-30 overall, 8-13 MVC) didn't get a hit until the third inning and senior pitcher Kori Jenson had to pitch out of several jams in each of the first three innings.  Indiana State (33-17 overall, 10-10 MVC) had four hits in the first three frames and left six runners on base (five in scoring position) during that same stretch, but it was scoreless heading into the bottom of the third.

Freshman Jason Leblebijian got the Braves first hit of the contest with a one-out double off the base of the left field wall in the bottom of the third and came around to score on a single by senior Matt Fritz for the first run of the game.  Fritz later scored on a two-out single off the bat of Martin to give Bradley a 2-0 lead.

Indiana State capitalized on a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth inning.  Tyler Graham led off the inning with a walk and the Sycamores had runners at second and third after Jordan Pearson ripped a double to the gap in right center.  Ben Ferrell tied things up at 2-2 with a two-run single to right center, plating both Graham and Pearson.

Bradley went back in front in the bottom of the fifth inning after loading the bases with no outs.  Leblebijian and Fritz were hit by pitches to start the inning and sophomore Rob Elliott reached on a bunt single to load the bases.  The Sycamores got the first out of the inning at home on a fielder's choice and Sycamore starter Jason Van Skike struck out the next batter for the second out.  A Van Skike wild pitch, however, allowed Fritz to race home as the Braves went back in front 3-2.

Indiana State answered with two runs of its own in the top of the sixth to take its first lead of the ball game.  Once again, Graham reached base to open the inning with a single to right.   A BU error on a sacrifice bunt put runners at first and second and the Sycamores had runners at second and third with one out after another sacrifice bunt.  Ryan Strausborger drove in a run with a groundout to second base and Pearson scored to put the Sycamores ahead 4-3 on a two-out single to left field by Kyle Burnham.

Senior Mike McMillan doubled to left with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, but was called out after sliding past the bag.  Freshman Mike Tauchman followed with his fifth home run of the season to tie the score at 4-4.

Freshman Christian Segar led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to left and moved to second on a Leblebijian sacrifice bunt.  Fritz drew a walk to put runners at first and second with one out when Indiana State closer Tyler Browning took over on the mound for the Sycamores.  Browning hit Elliott with his first pitch to load the bases and Martin lifted a fly ball to center field to drive in Segar with the game winner from third with a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore Jacob Booden cooled off Indiana State's bats over the final three innings, giving up just one hit and one walk in three scoreless innings in relief of Jenson.  Booden earned the win, improving to 4-4 on the year.  Jensen scattered nine hits over six innings, while giving up four runs (two earned) in the final home start of his career.

Martin went 1-for-3 at the plate with two RBI to extend his hitting streak to six games.  Fritz was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI in the final home game of her career and pushed his season run total to 57.  His 57 runs scored this year is tied for the fifth most in school history and are the most by a BU players since Jason Backman scored 58 runs in 1999.

Scott Harlan suffered the loss for Indiana State, dropping to 3-3 on the season.  He gave up one hit and one walk in one-third of an inning to open the ninth inning.

The game marked the final home contest for Bradley seniors Brad Altbach, Tyler Anderson, Jordan Colvin, Matt Fritz, Kori Jensen, Mike McMillan and Kevin Sullivan who were each recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

Bradley will be the #7 seed in next week's 2010 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and will open play against I-74 rival Illinois State Tuesday in Wichita, Kan.  The start time for Tuesday's contest is yet to be announced.

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