The Bradley Braves traveled to Iowa City on Wednesday afternoon in a rare afternoon tilt with the Iowa Hawkeyes. This matchup would pit Hawkeye lefty, Sasha Keubel (2-1, 7.11 ERA) and Bradley righty, Elliot Ashbeck (3-0 1.80 ERA).
Through the first five innings both teams would play unblemished baseball. Both Bradley and Iowa would leave runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings, but nothing would come of it until the sixth when Bradley finally broke through. A 1 out Chris Godinez double would get the party started for the Braves, Spencer Gaa would then reach on a single to third base and that allowed Godinez to move to third base. Godinez would then score on a passed ball and that made the score 1-0.
Iowa would go quietly in the 6th, while Bradley threatened, but left three runners on base. The seventh came around and it was the same dance for Iowa, as they’d have one runner on base, but get nothing out of it.
The Bradley 8th came around and that’s when it all hit the fan for the Hawkeyes. The first four Braves batters would reach base and it started with a Gaa single. Max Murphy would then belt a two run home run to give the Braves a three run lead. Bradley would go on to tally 4 more runs in the inning to blow the game wide open. The Hawkeyes, a lot like the first 7 innings, would go quietly and wound up on the wrong end of a shutout.
A big reason Bradley dominated this game was starting pitcher Elliot Ashbeck. Ashbeck has been so good through his first three wins and he didn’t disappoint in this one. Ashbeck went 8 innings, gave up 5 hits, and struck out 3.
Iowa coach, Rick Heller, would toss 8 different players during the contest. His pitchers will be staffed like this during mid-week games, according to hawkeyesports.com.
Iowa now turns the table and will take on the Michigan Wolverines in a weekend set up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Friday’s game will start at 3:00 p.m. CT.