CHICAGO - Designated hitter Greg Partyka (4-for-5) and center fielder Max Murphy (4-for-4) combined for eight hits, five runs batted in and three runs scored, leading Bradley (17-12-1) to a 9-4 non-conference baseball victory at Illinois-Chicago (12-18) Wednesday evening at Les Miller Field.
The Braves pounded out 14 hits en route to their sixth win in seven games and ended a 2-game mini-skid against UIC, which earned a 3-1 victory in the season's first meeting between the teams March 21 at O'Brien Field.
Senior left-hander Tory Doerr (2-2) earned the win, despite surrendering 10 hits in his 5.0 innings of work to start the game. Doerr allowed at least two base runners in each of the first four innings, but did not permit the Flames to score until they broke through for three runs in the fifth inning.
By that time, though, Bradley had already pushed across seven runs, scoring one in the second inning, two in the third and four in the fourth. Murphy drew a leadoff walk in the second, stole second and scored on a Bob Schuch single, then delivered RBI singles of his own in the third and fourth innings. Murphy entered the game with a team-leading .441 on-base percentage and raised the average 23 points by reaching base in all five plate appearances, adding two more singles in the seventh and ninth frames.
Partyka grounded out to end the first, then got base hits in each of his final four at-bats, including an RBI single in the third, a run-scoring double in the fourth and his fifth home run of the year to lead off the seventh inning. He also singled and scored in the ninth.
After Doerr gave up 10 hits through the first five innings, the Bradley bullpen allowed only one more hit the rest of the game, a ninth-inning home run by Ryan Boss.
The Braves will try to carry their recent momentum into a big weekend Missouri Valley Conference series against league-leading Indiana State. With a 3-3 Valley record through its first two weekends of league play, Bradley will enter the weekend in fifth place in the league standings, but just 1.5 games behind the pace-setting Sycamores (26-8, 6-3 MVC). Senior lefthander Joe Bircher (4-1, 2.65 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday's 6 p.m. series opener and needs just five strikeouts to break the school career record set by Wyman Carey (261) from 1957-59.
Admission for Bradley Baseball home games at O'Brien Field is $6 for adults, $3 for youth and free for Bradley University students, faculty and staff, as well as active members of the military and their immediate family, all with valid identification.