Baseball falls to Bradley

By Brian Earle

In baseball’s first of two midweek games this week, it laid an egg against Bradley as it was shut out 19-0 in seven innings at Ralph McKinzie Field.

The game was called due to a 10-run rule that was agreed upon by both head coaches before the game. The 19-run loss is the Huskies’ worst of the season and was not something coach Ed Mathey was pleased with.

“I’m not quite sure what it is; this is our second straight game in a row midweek that we’ve had trouble sustaining an approach,” Mathey said. “I’m concerned about it. I don’t like it. I don’t think the players are ready to go for whatever the reason is and we’ve got to look into that and figure that out.”

The Braves (12-19) jumped all over the Huskies (14-20) in the top of the first inning as they put seven runs on the board. Bradley showed off its power as it received two-run blasts from sophomore Max Murphy and freshman Paul Solka as well as a three-run homer from senior Curtiss Bunch in the first inning.

Freshman Jon Savarise did not do as well as he would have liked in his first collegiate start, as he only managed to get one out while giving up seven runs, six of them earned, on five hits and two walks.

“Jonny was struggling with command,” Mathey said. “He wasn’t able to get the ball to the outside corner as well as he would have liked to against these guys.”

In the second inning, Murphy showed off his swing again as he hit his second two-run bomb of the game to put the Braves up 9-0. The Braves added one more run in the inning on a throwing error by freshman Brian Sisler to put them up 10-0.

“They’re a good aggressive hitting team,” Mathey said. “They like the pull side from the right side of the plate and early in the ballgame today [the] wind was favorable to that and it was carrying out, and they sure took advantage of that.”

The Braves remained on the attack all game as they scored at least one run in every inning except for the third.

The Huskies struggled to get anything going offensively as they only recorded two hits in the game. Their best scoring opportunity came in the third inning when freshman Brandon Mallder led the inning off with a double down the left field line and freshman Johnny Zubek followed with a double to second base, advancing Mallder to third base with no outs. Bradley sophomore Stephan Toma got tough on the mound after that and retired the next three batters.

The Huskies get a chance to bounce back right away as they take on UIC (16-16) at 3:05 p.m. today at Ralph McKinzie Field. Mathey is looking for his team to respond in a positive way.

“What I want to see is energy and a sense of urgency and a desire to win a baseball game,” Mathey said. “… We’re going to see what they do. I mean I’m hoping that we see that. [It] would mean a lot for our club to do that, but I’m wondering what we’re going to do. Because like I said, this is the second straight midweek game that we did not come out and play well at all.”

A Bradley representative was not available for comment following the game.