NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bradley reversed an early-season trend by staging a late-game rally, battling back from an 8-0 deficit after two innings for an 11-9 victory in 10 innings Saturday at Lipscomb (4-3).
Freshman right fielder Brady Wilkin was 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three RBI’s, including the game-winning hit in the 10th, to lead the Braves (1-5) to their first win of the season. Freshman hurler Brent Stong (1-1) worked the final 3.2 innings to earn his first career win. Stong did not allow a run or a hit, while striking out seven.
Sophomore lefthander David Koll was roughed up early, surrendering eight runs, six earned, on his six hits in just 1.2 innings. But Stephen Toma allowed the Braves to rally by keeping the Bisons off the board in his 4.1 innings.
Wilkin started Bradley’s comeback by beating out a bunt single to open the third inning, taking second on a wild pitch and scoring on a Chris Godinez single. The Braves started a 5-run sixth inning with a one-out hit-by-pitch and three straight walks from Lipscomb’s starter. After two more runs scored on an error, Wilkin got the Braves to within 8-6 with a 2-out, 2-run single.
The Braves actually took their first lead in the seventh inning on a 3-run home run by first baseman Andrew Wasmund, his first of the season. The Bisons pulled even in the bottom of the seventh, though, by roughing up right-hander Rob Kennedy. After a double, walk and RBI single by consecutive hitters with one out, Stong relieved Kennedy and escaped the jam without any further damage by getting consecutive strikeouts.
The freshman lefty made it five straight K’s by stiking out the side in the eighth.
Paul Solka started Bradley’s game-winning rally by hitting a leadoff double in the 10th. After David Compitello popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt, Wilkin picked up his teammate with a run-scoring single to center. The speedy right fielder then stole second, advanced to third on an infield single by Godinez and scored an insurance run on a Mike Tauchman sacrifice fly.
Bradley will close out its 4-game weekend in Nashville with an 11 a.m. game Sunday against Ball State.
NOTE: Sophomore center fielder Max Murphy extended his hitting streak to 10 games, dating back to last season, by going 2-for-5 with a double … Tauchman was 0-for-4 to end his 10-game hitting streak, but he did contribute a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to the win.