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Chiefs - Bradley Exhibition Game April 703/24/2010 11:05 AM ET
By Nathan Baliva / Peoria Chiefs
PEORIA, IL- The Peoria Chiefs and Bradley University have announced they will once again play an exhibition game at O'Brien Field this season with the game taking place at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. All tickets will be general admission seating at $6.00 per ticket with proceeds benefiting the George P. Shadid Jr. Scholarship Fund at Bradley. Current Bradley students get in free with a valid BU ID card. Tickets are available at the O'Brien Field Box Office or by calling 309-680-4008.
"We are thrilled to have this game back on the schedule for 2010," said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. "It's a great way for us and our fans to get their first look at the Chiefs for the season and a unique opportunity for the Braves to get game action against professional players early in their careers. With the two teams sharing O'Brien Field it's great for us to play this exhibition whenever the schedule allows."
Both teams will use wood bats and the game is scheduled for seven innings. The O'Brien Field concessions stands will be open during the game and fans should park on the street around O'Brien Field. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m.
"This will be a great experience for our program and our players," said Bradley head coach Elvis Dominguez. "Many of them have dreamt about playing professionally since they were kids, and this opportunity will give them a taste of what it's really like. It's a perfect way to showcase both clubs and to promote the game of baseball in the Peoria community. We are looking forward to it."
With four long road-trips in the books the Braves are off to a 6-9 start despite having not played a home game. They have faced the likes of Notre Dame, Indiana, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh and Memphis in two trips to Tennessee, one to San Antonio, Texas and a spring break week in Central Florida. Their first two Missouri Valley Conference series are on the road as well as they visit Wichita State and Southern Illinois over the next two weekends. The Braves will host Northern Illinois (March 31) and Illinois (April 6) before the exhibition game. Many of the young Braves (13 freshmen, 6 sophomores) are off to great starts. Redshirt sophomore Rob Elliott is off to a .449 start while junior Brian Martin is hitting .404 with two home runs. On the mound sophomore Jacob Booden is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA, sophomore Phil Kaieser is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA and former Chiefs intern Kori Jensen is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a save.
The Chiefs players and coaches are expected to arrive from Mesa, Arizona on Monday April 4 and will practice Tuesday morning at O'Brien Field before the Braves host the University of Illinois at 6:00 p.m. The Chiefs will depart for Clinton, Iowa on the morning of Thursday, April 8 for their season opener against the LumberKings that evening. After a nine-game roadtrip to Clinton, Beloit and Cedar Rapids, the Chiefs will host Burlington Saturday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. in the home opener.
The Chiefs defeated the Braves in similar exhibition games in 2003, 2005 and 2006 but the two teams have not met over the last three years due to scheduling conflicts and restrictions placed on Bradley's game allotment by the NCAA. In the 2003 exhibition, then-St. Louis Cardinals hurler Jason Isringhausen and Jason Simontacchi pitched against the Braves. The series as seen its share of memorable moments including Bradley's Ryan Sullivan hitting a towering home run off Isringhausen in 03, John Santor's grand slam for the Chiefs in the same game, Ryan Norwood's season-ending ankle injury for the Chiefs in 2005 and Jesus Yepez picking three Braves off first base in 2006 in Jody Davis' managerial debut.
The George P. Shadid Jr. Scholarship Fund was established in 2005 at Bradley University. George Shadid Jr. played baseball for the Bradley Braves during the 1970s and passed away in February 2005 after a battle with brain cancer.