PEORIA, Ill. – Cale Elam struck out 13 Bradley batters and Parker Zimmerman blasted his first career home run as the Shockers defeated the Braves 4-0 in game one of the three game series. Elam’s 13 strikeouts is a new career high, his previous career high was eight strikeouts against Texas-Pan American earlier this year. It was also his first career complete game shutout.
A pitchers duel developed throughout the cold night as temperatures hovered around 35 degrees. Elam and Bradley starter David Koll combined for 19 strikeouts in the first six innings before Koll was pulled in the seventh inning.
The Shockers got on the board first after Tyler Baker’s two out RBI double down the right field line scored Micah Green from first giving Wichita State a one run lead in the second inning. It was Baker’s eighth double of the season and 22nd RBI.
Wichita State threatened to score in the third after Cody Bobbit and Garrett Bayliff reached base safely to start the inning. But Bradley’s Koll retired the next three Shocker batters and ended the inning.
Bradley finally got their leadoff batter on base to start the bottom half of the sixth inning when Nolan Sponsler singled to left but Elam retired the next three Brave batters and Wichita State maintained a 1-0 lead after six innings.
Erik Harbutz doubled to start off the eighth inning for the Shockers and Micah Green smacked an RBI triple to deep right field that scored Harbutz giving Wichita State a 2-0 lead. Green scored on a wild pitch before Parker Zimmerman hit his first career homerun and the Shockers had a 4-0 cushion.
Elam retired the side in the ninth to earn his first career complete game shutout. Wichita State improved to 19-16 overall and 5-2 in the MVC and Bradley dropped to 11-17 overall and 1-6 in MVC play.The Shockers continue their series with the Braves tomorrow, April 13 at 2 p.m