Late Rally Not Enough as Baseball Drops Series Opener at Bradley
Dane Tofteland (Grande Prairie, Alta.) triple, single, RBI; Max Wright (Toronto, Ont.) singles
PEORIA, Ill. – Indiana State scored three runs in the final two innings but it wasn’t enough as the Sycamores dropped the series opener to Bradley, 6-3, Friday afternoon at Dozer Park.
Weather has played a factor for much of the season for the club, but temperatures were the lowest of the year with a real-feel temperature of just 26 degrees at first pitch. With the conditions, runs would be at a premium and it wasn’t until the fourth that a run would cross the plate.
The Braves (16-7, 3-1 MVC) would score that run on an infield single from Brendan Dougherty in which Luke Mangieri went from second all the way home, sliding in underneath the tag to put the Braves on top.
A three-run sixth inning would give the Braves the insurance they needed. It all started after Tyler Ward retired the first two batters of the inning. Bradley would get things going with a hit-by-pitch followed by a pair of singles -- one of which bounced off the third-base bag which was the second infield hit of the day for the Braves. Dan Bolt would capitalize with the bases loaded as he sent a ball to the gap in left for a three-run double.
The Sycamores (15-9, 1-3 MVC) would go to the bullpen in the sixth and rotate in four arms to close out the game. Tyler Grauer picked up the final out of the sixth before Geremy Guerrero would toss a perfect seventh inning.
Indiana State broke into the scoring column in the top of the eighth after back-to-back singles from Luke Fegen and Max Wright to begin the frame. Fegen scored from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Means, but strikeouts ended the threat.
The Braves answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of runs of their own after a pair of walks from freshman Dalton Laney. Jake Ridgway would close out the inning for the Trees but not before back-to-back hits from Bolt and Keaton Rice scored two more runs for the Braves.
CJ Huntley looked to ignite the offense with a leadoff triple in the ninth. He would score two batters later as Dane Tofteland tripled down the line in right. ISU would get their third run of the game on an RBI groundout from Roberto Enriquez before the rally would come to an end.
Indiana State was led at the plate by Tofteland who finished as the lone Sycamore with multiple hits after going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Tyler Ward was charged with the loss, falling to 4-3 on the season. The right-hander went five and two-third innings, allowing four runs and striking out three.
Cole Cook (3-3) would pick up the win for the Braves after an eight-inning effort, allowing just a run and striking out five.