LORMAN, Miss. - Bradley completed a season-opening sweep at Alcorn State by scoring 12 unanswered runs in the final five innings for a 12-4 victory Sunday at McGowan Stadium.
With no outdoor practices before heading south, Bradley finished the 3-game series hitting .344, the defense committed just four errors and the pitching staff recorded 23 strikeouts against just seven walks.
The visiting Braves got contributions up-and-down the lineup Sunday as nine of the 10 players to bat had at least one hit and all 10 hitters either scored at least one run or drove in at least one run. Though he was 0-for-3 as the lone hitless Bradley player, junior outfielder Max Murphy drew three walks, scored two runs and drove in a run.
The host Braves touched Bradley starter Elliot Ashbeck for four runs on five hits in the first three innings, but the Bradley bullpen kept Alcorn State off the board the rest of the way. Sophomore Eric Schuermann (1-0) earned the win by striking out seven in 5.0 scoreless innings, while sophomore Cameron Roegner fanned two more during a perfect ninth to finish off the sweep.
Bradley started its rally with two runs in the fifth on Murphy's bases-loaded fielder's choice and Greg Partyka's 2-out single. The visiting Braves closed the gap to 4-3 in the sixth when Drew Carlile doubled, took third on an Austin Jarvis single and scored Brady Wilkin's single.
Designated hitter Greg Partyka started the tying rally in the seventh by drawing a leadoff walk. Following a Tyler Leffler sacrifice, Partyka came home on Evan Gruener's single.
Bradley overtook Alcorn State with four runs in the eighth and broke the game open with four more in the ninth. Catcher Austin Jarvis started the eighth-inning outburst with a leadoff double and scored on a Wilkins single.
Bradley, which outscored its hosts by a combined 34-12 margin on the weekend, has won the season's first three games for the first time since 1996, when the Braves turned a 7-0 start into a 40-22 final record. The weekend result also was Bradley's first 3-game series sweep since taking all three home games against Missouri State April 9-11, 2010 and its first 3-game series sweep on the road since winning all three games at Tennessee Tech March 6-7, 2010.
Bradley will return to the road next weekend for a 3-game series at Arkansas-Little Rock: the Friday and Saturday games are scheduled for 3 p.m. starts, followed by the 1 p.m. series finale Sunday.