The Bluejay baseball team took advantage of two costly Wichita State errors to plate six runs, claiming the series opener from the Shockers 6-5.
The win lifted Creighton to 27-13 overall and 10-6 in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play, while Wichita State fell to 30-23 on the season and 14-5 in MVC action.
After giving up two runs in the fourth on two walks and two hit batters, the Jays roared back with four runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Freshman Reagan Fowler starter the Bluejay rally by working an eight-pitch walk. Trying to put down a sacrifice bunt sophomore Kevin Lamb was hit by a pitch, then senior Brennan Murphy drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. One out later freshman Ryan Fitzgerald bounced to short, but the ball was muffed and all Jays were safe.
The Jays made the most of the extra out as junior Brad McKewon stroked a single to left, junior Federico Castagnini lifted a sacrifice fly and junior Jake Peter lined an RBI single to center to make it 4-2.
After Wichita State got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, Creighton took advantage of another Shocker error to nab two more runs in the sixth. Once more it was the bottom of the order setting the table as Lamb and Murphy singled. The next batter, senior Michael Blatchford, bounced a slow roller to third. Wichita State’s Tyler Baker tried to get Murphy at second, then the relay throw went into the Shockers dugout allowing both Lamb and Murphy to come home.
Up 6-3, the Jays turned to senior Mark Winkelman in the sixth with two Shockers on. Winkelman retired the first 10 men he faced before running into trouble in the ninth. Wichita State made it interesting in the final frame, touching Winkelman up for two and putting the tying run at second. Creighton turned to junior Bryan Sova for the final out. Sova delivered by inducing a weak fly ball to center to collect his third save of the season.
Bluejay starter, freshman Tommy Strunc, picked up the win (7-2) for Creighton. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in five innings. Wichita State hurler, Cale Elam, fell to 5-3 with the loss. Elam gave up six runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks in 5.2 innings.
The Jays and Shockers continue their three-game series on Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. in Eck Stadium. Creighton will start senior Nick Musec, while the Shockers counter with sophomore AJ Ladwig.