ISU baseball explodes for five homers, two grand slams in MVC win

Apr. 14—Indiana State continued its dominance in Missouri Valley Conference baseball, using home-run power to overwhelm visiting Bradley 17-6 on Sunday for a sweep of the Braves at Bob Warn Field.

ISU has now won 14 consecutive Valley series. Coach Mitch Hannahs' team has gone 36-5-1 against MVC opponents since the final series of the 2022, according to ISU sports information. The Sycamores have a three-game first-place lead in the conference stadings with records of 27-7 overall and 10-2 in MVC games. Bradley falls to 10-22 and 4-8.

And, Sunday's victory gave ISU its first series sweep while winning each game in fewer than nine innings because of the run-rule during Hannahs' tenure. Earlier, the Sycamores beat Bradley 14-8 in eight innings and 11-1 in seven innings.

On Sunday, ISU got two homers from Adam Pottinger and one each from Luis Hernandez, Mike Sears and Joe Kido.

Pottinger, Sears, and Kido went back-to-back-to-back in the bottom of the first inning to stake Indiana State (27-7, 10-2) to the early 5-0 lead. Pottinger's three-run shot went off the scoreboard in right, while Sears followed six pitches later with a solo shot to right. Kido went deep for the first time in his collegiate career in the next at-bat off Bradley (10-22, 4-8) starter Brayden Marks (1-3) putting the ball into the trees in right field to stake the Sycamores to the early lead.

ISU added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning on Josue Urdaneta's two-RBI single scoring Sears and Kido to provide the early run support for Sycamore starter Luke Hayden (4-1). Hayden went 5.2 innings allowing two hits while striking out three to pick up his fourth win of the season.

Bradley's bats started to wake up in the top of the seventh inning as Beau Durbin connected on a grand slam off ISU reliever Zach Davidson and Timmy O'Brien followed with a solo shot off Simon Gregersen to cut the Sycamore lead down to 7-5.

Tyrese Johnson made it a one-run game in the top of the eighth with a leadoff solo home run to center. The Braves put the go-ahead run on the bases with two outs in the eighth before Jacob Pruitt (S, 1) entered and recorded the final out of the frame to keep the Sycamore lead intact.

The Indiana State bats took over from there as the Sycamores loaded the bases on a Randal Diaz double, Hernandez intentional walk, and Parker Stinson hit-by-pitch, before Pottinger connected on his second home run of the game, this one a grand slam over the wall in center to put ISU ahead 11-6. The Sycamores re-loaded the bases with Sears scoring on a passed ball and Dom Listi working a bases-loaded walk scoring Kido, before Hernandez connected on the walk-off grand slam to center field to secure the 17-6 win.

Sears paced the Sycamore offense with a three-hit game as Indiana State connected on 12 hits as a team in the contest. Diaz doubled twice in the contest, while Grant Magill added two hits in the win. Pottinger had a career-high seven RBIs in the victory.

Durbin, Logan Delgao, and Johnson all finished with multi-hit contests for the Braves as Bradley connected on eight hits overall in the series finale.

Indiana State hits the road next weekend as the Sycamores travel to Normal, Ill. and Duffy Bass Field for a three-game series against Illinois State running from Friday through next Sunday. Friday's game begins at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The series will be streamed live on ESPN+ and broadcast on 105.5 FM radio.