PEORIA, Ill. — The Wichita State baseball team left O'Brien Field on Friday afternoon as the leader in the Missouri Valley Conference clubhouse after sweeping a doubleheader from Bradley 5-1 and 1-0.
The Shockers had to keep on eye on two teams still on the field, though.
Creighton’s 3-1 victory over Missouri State on Friday night clinched at least a share of the MVC title for the Bluejays. They can win it outright with a victory over the Bears today. If Missouri State wins, WSU and Creighton will tie for the title.
"We'll definitely be watching," said WSU pitcher Brian Flynn, who picked up the complete game victory in the opener Friday. "It will probably be the only time that any of us cheer for Missouri State. We'll be watching and hoping, especially since we came in here and handled business."
Friday's sweep came from the pitching, with a little help from the offense.
In the second game, when the Shockers (36-24, 14-7 MVC) were held without a hit over the final 8ð innings after getting two singles and a sacrifice fly by Preston Springer in the first.
"Thankfully, we got that run in the first inning," Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson said. "(Bradley starter John Nasshan) was just good enough to get us out. That's as good as it gets."
Wichita State starter Josh Smith matched the complete game victory from Flynn. Smith threw 131 pitches, but had Bradley batters biting on his off-speed pitches.
"What helped him was the ground balls, he was not throwing away from contact," catcher Chris O'Brien said. "His change-up was the best it's ever been and he threw that for strikes."
Smith saw what Nasshan was doing for Bradley and responded.
"(Nasshan) threw a great game too," Smith said. "It was a battle between me and him."
Bradley (22-30, 4-17) had singles off Smith in the second, and fourth through seventh innings. Bradley also had five hits in the first game against Flynn.
"We didn't get it done offensively all day for whatever reason," Bradley coach Elvis Dominguez said. “You have to give their kids credit. They made it tough on us."
Flynn struck out a career-high 10 in the opener. WSU scored two runs in the first on O'Brien's two-run homer, and two more in the second.
"It was really important to get that lead, since I had a couple of shaky outings in a row," Flynn said. "It's easy when you get up by four to pump fastballs in there and let them swing and hopefully get some quick outs and keep my pitch count down."
O'Brien extended his hitting streak to 24 games with the homer and a single in the first inning of Game 2.