PEORIA — The Illinois State baseball team dropped a 7-2 decision to Bradley on Sunday to close out a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series at Dozer Park.
After ISU had won the first two games, the Braves received a home run from leadoff hitter Luke Shadid and scored all seven of their runs in the middle innings to salvage a win and improve to 30-16 overall and 10-8 in the MVC.
The Redbirds fell to 30-21, 12-6 and will face SIU Edwardsville in a nonconference game on Tuesday at Duffy Bass Field. ISU closes out the conference regular season next weekend against Evansville, also at home.
"Obviously you come away with a sour taste in your mouth because of the Sunday outcome, but anytime you can win a series on the road is a great weekend," said ISU coach Steve Holm. "We are in a good spot for next weekend."
The Redbirds and Braves battled through three scoreless innings in cloudy and cool conditions. Bradley got on the scoreboard with one run in the fourth before erupting for four runs in the fifth.
ISU starting and losing pitcher Brett Wicklund (4-3) was charged with three of the runs, two of them earned, before being relieved by Colton Johnson with one out in the fifth. Bradley would score two more runs off Johnson in the fifth before adding two in the sixth.
ISU's only runs came in the ninth when Jeremy Gaines drove home Joe Aeilts with a sacrifice fly and Joe Butler scored on a balk.
Butler had two hits in four at-bats, including a double for ISU. Jack Butler also doubled for the Redbirds, who had six hits in the game and left seven runners stranded.