PEORIA, Ill. - Omaha pitcher Tyler Fox improved to 6-1 by allowing only two hits in 7.0 scoreless innings as the visiting Mavs (17-13) opened their weekend non-conference series at Bradley (20-14) with a 4-2 victory Friday night.
Bradley sophomore lefthander Elliot Ashbeck (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, despite allowing just three runs, two earned, on seven singles in his 7.0 innings of work.
Omaha scored in each of the first two innings, getting a 2-out, RBI single from Brett Bass in the first and an RBI groundout by Andrew Dergan in the second. The Mavs gained some necessary insurance in the sixth, following a 2-out walk to Caleb Palensky with back-to-back singles. The second hit by Tyler Splichal drove Palensky home with what proved to be the deciding run.
Anthony Falcone relieved Fox to start the eighth and Bradley first baseman Drew Carlile immediately greeted the reliever with a first-pitch single to left center. After
Spencer Gaa drew a 2-out walk, center fielder Isaac Smith plated both runners with a triple down the right field line.
Josh Bullock took over on the mound and got Chris Godinez to bounce out to end the eighth. After Omaha got another 2-out RBI in the ninth, Bullock got himself into trouble by plunking Bradley DH Greg Partyka with a pitch and surrendering a base hit to Tyler Leffler to put runners at first and second with one out. Bullock bounced back, though, getting Carlile to pop out, before catching Evan Gruener looking to end the game.
The teams will continue their weekend series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday at Dozer Park, where family pets will be welcome as part of a "Bark-at-the-Park" promotion.