Lacy held Butler scoreless through eight innings to help Creighton move to 23-11 on the season and 7-2 in BIG EAST action, while the Bulldogs fell to 15-25 on the season and 2-5 in conference play.
Coming off a complete-game shutout of St. John’s last weekend that earned Lacy the BIG EAST pitcher of the week nod, he was just as sharp against Butler. Lacy limited Butler to just four hits and five base runners through eight innings, needing just 98 pitches.
While the Bluejay ace was dealing on the bump, the Creighton offense gave him a quick lead with a run in the top of the second without the benefit of a hit. Juniors Harrison Crawford and Ryan Fitzgerald were each hit by a pitch to open the second, then a sacrifice bunt followed by a sac fly from junior Matt Gandy gave Creighton a 1-0 edge.
The game remained 1-0 until the sixth when sophomore Nicky Lopez led off the frame with a triple into right-center and came home on the Bluejays’ second sac fly of the contest, this one by junior Reagan Fowler.
Doubles from seniors Landon Lucansky and Kevin Lamb in the seventh pushed the Creighton lead to 3-0, while the Bluejays got two insurance runs in the eighth thanks to four singles and a Butler errors.
The story of game, however, was Lacy’s performance.
“We had a great game plan for attacking the hitters today, as usual,” said Lacy. “My fastball command wasn’t there early, so I relied on my slider a ton today. Our defense played unbelievable behind me. Kevin [Lamb] throwing that guy out [in the fourth] was a very important play for us along with the double plays turned by our infield. Today was simply an all around great team win.”
When asked about how he has put together his current 18-inning scoreless streak Lacy said.
“I definitely think my level of focus is much higher. It starts much earlier prior to the game than some of my other outings. I struggled at Georgetown and I think that was attributed to poor preparation, so I would say my pregame prep is just much more detailed knowing how important these conference games are.”
Lacy moved to 5-0 with the win, while Butler’s Jeff Schank fell to 2-6. Schank allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
Offensively the Bluejays got two hits from Lopez, Fowler, Murray, Crawford and Lamb to lead the way.
The Bluejays and Bulldogs are scheduled to continue their three-game series on Saturday, April 25 at 11 am.