Hutter’s Homerun Propels Pats to Victory

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Box Score

Joel Hutter hit a two-run homerun in the eighth inning as Dallas Baptist (38-16) came from behind to defeat Bradley (25-24-1) by a score of 5-4 Thursday night in Peoria, Illinois. Taylor Massey (8-4) threw seven innings to pick up the win while allowing six hits and two earned runs and Stuart Pudenz threw two innings of scoreless baseball to pick up his eighth save of  the season. DBU had to work around four errors on the night, including three miscues in the third inning alone, but it was a decisive three-run eighth inning that propelled the Patriots to the one-run victory and their fourth straight win.

Bradley took an early lead behind starterJoe Bircher (7-3) before DBU scored two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Austin Elkins reached on a fielder’s choice after Kenny Hatcher had reached on an error and Elkins moved to third when Ronnie Mitchell doubled to right field. Both would score as Boomer Collins singled to right field but that lead would not last as the Patriots made three errors in the bottom of the inning, including two by Massey, to retake the lead at 3-2. They would add another run to that lead in the fourth after a leadoff double and the score would remain 4-2 until the eighth inning.

With one out in the decisive eighth inning, Mitchell singled to center and scored one batter later as Collins doubled to right center. That brought Bradley Head Coach Elvis Dominguez from the dugout to visit his starter Bircher with men warming in the bullpen but no move was made at the time. That left Bircher in to face Hutter and on a 1-0 pitch, Hutter blasted a high fly ball to left field that found a resting place halfway up the berm that lies beyond the outfield fence at O’Brien Field. That would be Bircher’s last pitch of the night and the swing the Patriots needed to win their fourth straight game, and third straight with the deciding run scoring thanks to the long ball.

Pudenz worked around a two out single in the eighth and a walk and hit-by-pitch in the ninth to record the save for Massey. Dallas Baptist and Bradley will square off again Friday night at 6:00 pm with Cy Sneed taking the mound for the Patriots. Live audio can be heard at beginning at 5:40pm.

Postgame Interview with Coach Heefner