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Rapid Recap: Baseball bests Redbirds for first conference wins

Bradley baseball’s Timmy O’Brien embraces his teammates after scoring during a game at Illinois on March 19, 2024. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

After winning three of their last five and scoring double-digit runs in each of those five, Bradley baseball (8-14) hoped to maintain their offensive momentum heading into their weekend against I-74 rival Illinois State.

They did just that, winning the series 2-1.

After ISU took a 3-2 advantage heading into the fifth inning of game one, the Braves put up three runs in the fifth and sixth to take an 8-3 lead.

However, ISU battled back, tying the game in the eighth. It came down to the final inning, where junior Travis Lutz hit the go-ahead home run to win the first one for the Braves with a final score of 9-8.

Lutz and senior Logan Delgado each had three hits, with the former adding two RBIs to his boxscore. Senior Ryan Vogel, sophomore Beau Durbin and senior Jackson Chatteron all had two hits. Durbin and junior Tyrese Johnson drove in the majority of the Braves’ runs, each securing three RBIs.

On the pitching side, redshirt sophomore Noah Edders threw seven innings, giving up five runs with seven strikeouts. Junior Anthony Potthoff came in relief to pitch the last two innings, allowing one hit and one earned run, earning him his second win of the year.

The Braves’ bats remained hot in game two, scoring six runs in the first inning to take the lead in Normal. Despite a five-run second inning from the Redbirds, the Braves held that lead for the rest of the game and won 12-6.

Durbin continued his great performance from game one into game two with four hits, a walk and three runs. Junior Timmy O’Brien reached base five times with three hits and two walks while driving in three RBIs.

Delgado and junior Cole Luckey also had big days at the plate, each knocking two hits and combining for six RBIs.

After being the late-game hero in the last game, Lutz got the nod for game two, throwing 103 pitches across six innings. He gave up five runs, one earned, and walked none, earning his second win of the season.

The Braves could not complete the sweep in the series’ third game despite having a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning. The Redbirds scored six in the third and five combined in the sixth and seventh to secure a 12-3 win.

Lutz, O’Brien and junior Ryan Taylor each drove in one run on the day. None of the Braves had more than one hit, but Delgado got on base twice with one hit and one walk.

Junior Jack Stellano took the loss in this game, giving up three hits, five runs and two walks while striking out one Redbird.

Bradley’s Tuesday matchup against Lindenwood was canceled due to rain.

The Braves hope to build on this series win when they play at Valparaiso in a three-game series March 29-31.

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