EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Senior Day in Evansville belonged solely to the Purple Aces, who spoiled Creighton's chance at the first sweep in Evansville in more than eight years, winning 10-1 on Sunday. The Jays (35-13, 12-6) scored first in the game before the Aces (28-19, 7-10) answered with 10 unanswered. UE senior Cody Fick paved the path for the Purple Aces, throwing his fourth complete game of the season and driving in three runs on a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
Greg Hellhake started the game lights out on the mound, striking out the first three batters in order in the first inning, all swinging. The Purple Aces did work the counts in each at bat, with two of the three reaching 3-2 counts and the other at 2-2. The senior south paw struck out another Ace in the second, walking just one batter in an otherwise perfect frame.
The Bluejays scored first for the fourth game in a row (dating back to the win over Nebraska on Tuesday), plating a run in the top of the second. A one-out walk to Anthony Bemboom proved costly for Evansville's starter Cody Fick, one of the few mistakes the senior made all day. Scott Thornburg picked up his fourth hit of the weekend, pulling a double into left field that plated Bemboom. An inning-ending double play, a liner to short by Alex Staehely that doubled off Thornburg gave the Jays the 1-0 lead.
The next two frames belonged solely to the Purple Aces. After a pop out for the first out in the third, Hellhake gave up a bunt single, a walk and a hit by pitch to load the bases for Fick. The top player in the Aces line-up drove in two runs with a single to left field. Creighton brought in Brandon Koenigstein to limit the damage, who allowed a walk but did get a ground out and a strike out to end the frame.
The Aces used three infield singles in the fourth to plate five, four of which were earned. Oesterle led off the frame with a swinging bunt to third base, followed by a single to Swift's backhand side and an infield bunt single by Kuester loaded the bases again for the Aces. Koenigstein forced a ground ball to Chance Ross at third, but the ball was tossed into the back of Oesterle, allowing him to score the third run of the game for the Aces.
A single to left field by Wallace plated another run and then Fick plated his 3rd RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to left field. Two more singles plated another run before the Jays forced their first ground-ball double play of the weekend to get out of the inning. The Aces led 7-1 after five. UE plated another solo tally in the fifth frame off relief pitcher Nick Musec, before Musec retired the Aces in order in the sixth, the first time since the first inning of the game.
After a leadoff hit by pitch to Gabriel Thibodeaux in the third, Fick retired the Jays in order through the fifth inning, fanning one batter and forcing five pop outs along with three ground balls in Creighton's second time through the order. The Jays put two runners on base in both the sixth and seventh, but again failed to plate a run in either inning.
Musec did pitch well in his fifth appearance of the season. The right hander went 3.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits (two of the runs came on runners that were his responsibility after he left the game) and pitching to the minimum in the sixth and seventh innings. Evansville plated a pair of runs in the eighth off Erik Mattingly who made his second appearance of the season.
Fick finished the game on the mound, his fourth complete game of the season. Creighton used four different pitchers in the game, finishing with five combined walks and six combined strike outs.
The Jays will be in action on Tuesday, traveling to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. Creighton's final MVC series will be at home next Thursday through Saturday, when the Missouri State Bears travel to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha for a battle for the conference title.
Quick Hits: The Purple Aces spoiled the series sweep in Evansville for the fourth time in the last eight seasons. The Jays have not swept a series in Evansville under Ed Servais(four 2-1 series)... Creighton finished the weekend 5-for-41 with runners in scoring position on the weekend... Scott Thornburg continued to play well at the plate for the Jays, as he is now 8-15 this week with three doubles, two walks, a run scored and an RBI... Creighton did use its bullpen today, as the Jays saw Nick Musec in his fifth appearance of the season and Erik Mattingly in his second on the mound this season... Ed Servais remains tied for the most wins as a head coach of the Creighton Bluejays with the loss Sunday. The game Tuesday at now No. 3 head coach Jack Dahm could catapult servais into the lead as a Bluejay skipper... Trever Adams continues his streaks with both a walk and single. He has now reached in 32 straight games and has a 13-game hit streak... The Jays remain a half game ahead of Missouri State, who was victorious on Sunday against Bradley.