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Pitchers Shine as Braves Sweep Northern Illinois
Release: Wednesday 04/16/2014 
by BradleyBraves.com

PEORIA, Ill. -- Five Bradley pitchers limited Northern Illinois (9-26-1) to five hits in 14 innings as the Braves (20-13) swept both 7-inning games of Wednesday night's non-conference baseball doubleheader at Dozer Park.

After right-handers Steve Adkins (1-0) and Matt Dennis combined on a 2-hit shutout in the opener, a 3-0 Bradley win, a trio of Braves hurlers allowed five unearned runs on three hits in a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.

While Adkins and Dennis shut down the Northern Illinois offensive in the opener, freshman third baseman Spencer Gaa provided all of the offense with a 3-run double in the bottom of the second inning.

Adkins, a fourth-year sophomore who missed most of the 2013 campaing and the first half of 2014 due to injury, earned his first win since April 1, 2012 by allowing just one hit and striking out eight with no walks in the first 5.0 innings. Dennis also allowed just one hit in the final 2.0 innings to collect his sixth save of the year, equalling the third-best single-season total in program history.

Junior outfielder Max Murphy saw his streak of games reaching base safely end at 31 when he went 0-for-3 in the opener, but the slugger bounced back in the nightcap by going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, a home run, three runs scored and two runs batted in.

Murphy walked and scored as part of a 2-run first inning. After Northern Illinois tied it with a pair of unearned runs in the second, Bradley took the lead for good in the third without the benefit of a hit. Greg Partyka drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a Tyler Leffler sacrifice, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a second wild pitch.

Catcher Drew Carlile, who drove in one run with a first-inning single, added a 2-run single in the fourth and Murphy provided the necessary insurance with his sixth home run of the year, a 2-run blast to left center field in the sixth for a 7-3 lead.

Stephen Toma (2-3) earned the win by working the first five innings of the nightcap, allowing three unearned runs on two hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Cody Kentzel worked a scoreless sixth inning and Sean Safko was touched for a pair of unearned runs in the seventh before closing the door.

The Braves will continue their season-long, 9-game home stand this weekend by hosting Omaha in a 3-game non-conference series at Dozer Park. The series will start with a 6 p.m. game Friday.

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