Illinois Baseball rallies past Bradley in 10 innings

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PEORIA, Ill. — The Illinois baseball team scored twice in the 10th inning Tuesday to beat Bradley 4-2 at Dozer Park in a game the Illini led three times. Michael Massey hit the go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th. 

“It was a good baseball game,” said head coach Dan Hartleb. “We got some good pitching in the early going and they pitched well.”

Illinois (26-13) held a 2-1 lead in the ninth after Kellen Sarver blasted a no-doubt homer to right field in the top half of the inning. It was Sarver’s second homer of the season and set up Garrett Acton for a chance for a school-record-tying 14th save of the season, but Bradley (24-13) rallied to push across the tying run after a leadoff walk.

The Illini answered with two more in the 10th, which began with Grant Van Scoy’s leadoff single. Massey gave Illinois a 3-2 lead on a two-out, two-strike single through the right side and Zac Taylor added one more with a single to right field. 

“To turn around and do what we did in the 10th inning was impressive,” said Hartleb. “We had a bunch of quality at-bats. A good win against a really good opponent.”

Acton worked a scoreless bottom of the 10th in 1-2-3 fashion to secure the win. He was one of six Illini to throw during the predetermined bullpen game, starting with Quinn Snarskis’ 2 2/3 scoreless innings and Nathan Lavender’s 2 1/3 scoreless frames. 

Snarskis scattered four hits and struck out four in an impressive first start since March 4 due to injury. Lavender was perhaps even better, allowing only one hit and striking out three Braves. 

Illinois takes its four-game winning streak to Nebraska this weekend for a three-game Big Ten series against the Huskers. Nebraska (22-13, 11-4 Big Ten) is .017 percentage points behind Indiana for the top spot in the Big Ten.

Notes

• Illinois and Bradley split the two-game season series. Bradley beat Illinois 12-8 last Tuesday at Illinois Field.
• Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the nation in fielding percentage at .981, slightly ahead of last year’s single-season program record of .979.
• Illinois is 25-5 when allowing six or fewer runs.
• Illinois is 25-6 when scoring four or more runs.
• Illinois is 23-6 when leading or tied after four innings.
• Hitting streaks: Massey 6, Van Scoy 5
• Reached base streaks: Van Scoy 22, Taylor 11, Yalowitz 10, Massey 7, Sarver 7
Grant Van Scoy is on a career-long 22-game reached base streak. Van Scoy is hitting .358 (29-81) during the 22-game streak with four doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBIs.

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