Creighton freshman Brandon Koenigstein needed just 73 pitches to throw the first complete game no-hitter in school history to lift the Bluejays to an 11-0 victory over host Wichita State at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. It was the first no-hitter in MVC Tournament history.
Koenigstein struck out a career-high seven and faced the minimum 21 batters to improve to 5-0 on the season. He allowed just one runner all night, hitting Tyler Grimes on a 2-2 pitch to open the fourth frame, before Grimes was retired when Cody Lassley followed with a 5-4-3 double play. He threw 52 strikes in his 73 pitches, capping off his first complete game and shutout with Nick Becker’s catch of a Clinton McKeever fly ball to end it.
The no-hitter was the second in CU history, joining the combined no-no by future Major Leaguer Dennis Rasmussen (5.1 IP) and Joe Franco (3.2 IP) against Kansas State on April 18, 1980. Wichita State had not been no-hit since 1984, when Indiana State’s Matt Gardiner turned the trick.
Creighton scored twice in the top of the first inning while knocking Shocker starting pitcher Max Hutson from the game. Robbie Knight doubled to right-center and advanced to third on a sac bunt from Elliot Soto. Darin Ruf singled up the middle to plate Knight, his 200th career RBI. Vicente Cafaro was hit-by-pitch and after a strikeout, Ruf came around to score after walks to Nick Becker and Carson Vitale ended Hutson’s evening after just 2/3 of an inning.
Creighton scored three runs in the fourth inning to build a 5-0 lead. With one down, Vitale singled up the middle versus Shocker reliever Clint Maune. He raced to third on a single to center by Jimmy Swift. After a walk to Ian Dike filled the bases with Bluejays, both Vitale and Swift scored when Knight laced a double down the left-field line. Dike who advanced to third on Knight’s two-bagger, then scored when reliever Cobey Guy threw a two-out wild pitch.
The Bluejays used a six-run sixth inning to put the Shockers away, sending 11 men to the plate. Swift walked and moved to second on a single to right by Dike. Knight singled off the glove of first baseman Clinton McKeever to score Swift. Soto singled down the line to load the bases before Ruf singled through the left side to score Dike. Both Knight and Soto would score on Cafaro’s double to left before an RBI groundout from T.J. Roemmich scored Ruf. CU closed the scoring on its big frame with a single by Nick Becker.
Creighton returns to action on Friday with a 3 p.m. game against regular-season champion and No. 1 seed Missouri State. The winner will advance to Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game, where it will meet the victor of the 7 p.m. game between No. 3 Wichita State and No. 6 Illinois State.