AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Sophomore designated hitter Greg Partyka hit two of Bradley's three home runs and Joe Bircher struck out 10 in 7.0 innings, leading the Braves (6-4) to a 12-4 victory versus Bowling Green Friday morning at Lake Myrtle Park.
The Braves scored five runs with two outs in the second inning, highlighting a hot start that saw Bradley race to an 8-0 lead after just 2-and-a-half innings. Though he allowed nine hits, Bircher (3-0) made the lead stand up by striking out 10 opposing hitters for the third consecutive game. The 6-foot-4 lefthander began the week ranked ninth nationally with 217 career strikeouts and he moved into sole possession of eighth place in school history by pushing his total to 227. In his four starts this season, Bircher boasts a 3.18 earned run average with 38 strikeouts against just four walks in 28.1 innings.
Partyka struck out in the first inning, then went 4-for-4 the rest of the day, launching home runs in the sixth and eighth innings, his team-leading third and fourth dingers of the season. Freshman centerfielder Max Murphy belted his third home run of the season in the second inning, a 2-run blast that started Bradley's 5-run outburst.
The Braves outhit Bowling Green, 17-12, and with three doubles to go along with the three homers, Bradley registered a season-best 29 total bases. Shortstop Jason Leblebijian was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in, while catcher Austin Jarvis and right fielder Bob Schuch both were 2-for-4. Leadoff hitter Rob Elliott was 1-for-5, hitting safely for the ninth time in 10 games to start the season, and scored four runs.Bradley is playing eight games in nine days at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational and will continue the spring break trip Saturday (1 p.m.) against Western Michigan. The Broncos (5-7) first will face North Dakota State Friday evening. Junior right-hander John Nasshan (2-1) is scheduled to start Saturday's game.