Kyle Burnam made sure Indiana State would live to see another game.
The left fielder robbed a would-be Alex Staehely home run and went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and RBI, as Indiana State eliminated Creighton from the MVC Tournament with a 9-7 victory, Thursday afternoon at Eck Stadium.
The Sycamores (35-18) scored six in the final three innings to erase a one-run Creighton (27-25) lead. That was after Burnam’s catch shifted the momentum.
With the game tied in the bottom of the fourth, Staehely hit a long drive to left field. Burnam tracked the ball to the wall, timed his leap perfectly and stole the go-ahead run away from the Jays.
Trever Adams finished the day 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI for Creighton. It was his third multi-homer game of the season. Elliot Soto also scored three runs and had two hits, while Jimmy Swift posted a pair of hits as well.
Despite taking a one-run lead after the Burnam catch, Creighton could not hold the advantage. The Sycamores rallied off Kurt Spomer in the seventh, who had not given up a run to that point. Ryan Strausborger started with a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Burnam’s ground-rule double to tie the game.
Bobby Lackovic relieved Spomer, as Luke Fieser singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Robby Ort’s chopper to Ian Dike was nearly a 1-6-3 double play, but Robby Ort beat the throw from Soto to put Indiana State ahead for good.
Indiana State tacked on three important insurance runs in the eighth. Grant Grgurich doubled, and moved to third on a sac bunt. Strausborger’s groundball to second was thrown home, but pinch runner Jordan Pearson beat the throw for the first Sycamore run.
A Burnam single and a Fieser double scored Strausborger for the second run, and Ort lofted a sac fly to center, scoring the final Sycamore run of the frame. Ben Ferrell would post the final Sycamore run, with an RBI-double in the ninth.
Spomer (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing the two Sycamore runs in the seventh. Kevin Mann secured the win (5-1) pitching three innings of scoreless relief.
The Sycamores put up three runs in the top of the third for the first lead of the game. A Tyler Graham double started the frame, and after he stole third, Ferrell brought him in with a single to center.
After a Strausborger double, a routine groundball to second was thrown away allowing two more to score for a 3-0 lead for the Sycamores.
The Jays were quick to bounce back, as Staehely atoned for his error by leading off the CU half of the third with a double. After a groundout, Soto singled in Staehely for the first Bluejay run. Adams was quick to tie the game, as he laced the second pitch he saw into the bleachers in left to make it 3-3.
The Jays took the lead in the fifth. With Soto on second and Adams on first, a groundball to pitcher Jason Van Skike looked like a double play, but the throw was launched to center, allowing Soto to score the go-ahead run.
Creighton finished the season with a 27-25 record; their seventh straight winning season under Ed Servais.