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Vogel reaches milestone in baseball’s loss to Lindenwood

Baseball’s Ryan Vogel gets waved around third by his third base coach during a game against Lindenwood on April 10, 2024 at Dozer Park. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

Heading into Wednesday, Bradley baseball (10-19) looked for the third time to be the charm against Lindenwood.

The Lions swept the Braves in a two-game series in early March and the result of Wednesday’s game was indicative of how the season series has gone against Lindenwood, as Bradley fell 11-9.

Pitching was the culprit

Sophomore Brayden Marks earned his second straight start for Bradley and the right-hander hoped to repeat the success of his last outing. However, things did not go how he hoped.

Marks threw 26 pitches in the first inning alone, cutting his time on the mound to only that inning. He allowed two earned runs on two hits and a free pass.

“He’s got to be better than that,” head coach Elvis Dominguez said. “He got the hitter on two strikes and he has to be able to put the guy away and he wasn’t able to do it.”

Dominguez called on sophomore Cooper Chinn to take over. In an unusual situation for the traditional reliever, the southpaw did his job to keep the Braves in the game.

“Cooper did an outstanding job,” Dominguez said. “He kept us there [and gave] us a chance to go ahead and bounce back, which we did … he pitched well tonight.”

Chinn himself was satisfied with his night on the mound.

“I felt pretty confident out there,” Chinn said. “[I was] just trusting myself throwing everything hard.”

After Chinn, the Braves sent out four more pitchers for the night, which dug into their already depleted pitching staff. On top of that, those pitchers did not meet expectations.

“We just didn’t execute on the bump,” Dominguez said. “I know we’re short-handed, but that’s no excuse. The guys that we have in there we have confidence in and they just didn’t execute tonight.”

Cooper Chinn takes the mound for Bradley baseball against Lindenwood on April 10, 2024 at Dozer Park. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

An offensive explosion

For a second straight game, the Braves were able to do damage to the scoreboard.

Bradley hit three home runs, including two from junior Nick Hosie and one from junior Timmy O’Brien. O’Brien finished 3-for-4 with a double and the aforementioned dinger.

“I was just looking to be aggressive,” O’Brien said. “Looking to hit the ball hard, not being passive and just being aggressive and not being upset if it doesn’t go my way.”

The offense started in the first as senior Logan Delgado came through with a single through the right side, scoring senior Ryan Vogel. Then, with two outs, O’Brien doubled down the third base line to score sophomore Beau Durbin.

“We were looking to do damage early in the game,” O’Brien said.

Bradley added one in the third inning on another O’Brien RBI hit. For a moment, the Braves had a 3-2 lead, but the Lions grabbed their lead back the following inning and began to build on it.

However, the Braves still put up great offensive numbers. In the sixth inning, Hosie came through with his first of two home runs, hammering one down the right-field line.

“Tonight to get [Nick] to see an opportunity for him to do what he did, hopefully this will get him kick started,” Dominguez said.

Faced with a four-run deficit entering the eighth, the Braves battled, fought and got the game within two runs at multiple points. But they were unable to get over the hump.

“Even though we’re down we still put up a fight,” O’Brien said. “That’ll help us offensively going into this weekend. Carrying that momentum hopefully will be good.”

Vogel reaches 200 career hits

With a 2-for-5 day at the plate on Wednesday, Vogel reached the 200-hit plateau for his Bradley career.

“He’s a great player,” O’Brien said. “He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever played with. He’s a role model to me…I always looked up to him. He really deserves it.”

Reaching this milestone as a Brave meant a great deal to Vogel.

“It was really special for him,” Dominguez said. “This is his dream school and he’s been a tremendous player for us throughout his career. I was really, really happy for him.”

The Braves resume conference play this weekend with a series in Terre Haute against Indiana State. The first pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

“They’re the top team in the league,” Dominguez said. “Obviously Super Regional last year, one game away from going to the College World Series, they have everybody back. We got our hands full. We’ll see how these guys respond and hopefully we can get some production on the hill.”

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