OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team picked up their first MVC Regular Season Championship since the 2005 season in front of 8,737 fans on Friday, defeating Missouri State 3-1. The Jays won the series and can take sole possession of the title with a win in the finale tomorrow. Creighton rode the arm of Ty Blach, who tied a career best with 8.0 innings of work, striking out eight while allowing just four hits.
Ty Blach and Blake Barber of Missouri State baffled the opponent's bats through the first third of the ball game, with each pitcher facing the minimum number of batters through three frames. Creighton's only base runner in the first three innings was Trever Adams, who singled to center field to lead off the frame. A quick spin by Barber fooled Adams, resulting in Barber's fourth pick off of the season. Blach's only baserunner in the first three frames was a walk in the second inning, erased by Scott Thornburg's sixth baserunner caught stealing this season.
The Jays got on the board with single tallies in the fourth and fifth innings. With one out in the fourth, Nick Judkins singled through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jimmy Swift picked up his 39th RBI of the season when he drove a single into center field that scored Judkins for Creighton's first run of the night.
The fifth inning started when Barber hit Alex Staehely on the wrist, just the second time in the game the Bluejays put the leadoff batter on. A sacrifice bunt by Anthony Bemboom and a double to the right center gap by Scott Thornburg plated Creighton's second run of the day, which ended up being the winning run.
Blach continued his "no-no" into the sixth inning, giving up his first hit of the day to the number nine hitter in the Bears lineup, a single back up the middle. He had six strikeouts and just one walked batter in the first 5.2 innings of work.
Creighton picked up another run in the bottom of the seventh when Adams hit his 14th home run of the season, a shot that landed just over the left field fence, inside the Creighton bullpen. It is Adams' first RBI in seven games, snapping the longest drought of his career.
The Bears did put together a rally in the top of the ninth, stranding runners on first and second to end the game. A leadoff walk by closer Kurt Spomer to Brent Seifert was followed by a ground ball out and a strike out. Another walk put runners on the first two bases before Spomer forced a ground out to Staehely to secure the win.
Blach picked up his 10th win of the season, improving to 10-1 overall in his 16 starts. The south paw finished with eight strikeouts, one earned run, one walk and surrendered just four hits. Spomer came in and picked up his 10th save of the season, striking out one in his inning of work.
The Bluejays finished the game with eight hits, led by Judkins and Adams with two a piece.
Creighton and Missouri State will meet for the series finale tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. The Jays will be going for their first sweep of the Bears since 2005. Eight Bluejay seniors will be honored before the first pitch tomorrow, celebrating their final regular-season home game.
Quick Hits: The Bluejays earn at least a share of their first MVC Regular Season Crown since the 2005 season. A win tomorrow will give Creighton the outright title while a loss to the Bears will make CU and Wichita State co-champions... Trever Adams extended his hit streak to 16 games, also extending his reaching base safely streak to 35 games... Ty Blach no-hit the Bears through the first 5.2 innings. It is the longest a starting pitcher has no-hit a team that long since Blach was perfect through 5.2 innings on April 11, 2010... Ty Blach's no-hitter through 5.2 was the fourth career start where he had a no-hitter through four complete innings... Friday's attendance of 8,737 fans moved the overall attendance this season to 103,297 fans. It is the first time in school history Creighton baseball has surpassed 100,000 fans in a single season... Trever Adams knocked out his Missouri Valley Conference leading 14th home run of the season in the 7th inning. The RBI, his 53rd of the season, makes him the only player under Ed Servais with two seasons of each of the following: 12+ homers, 74+ hits, .350 and above average, 120+ total bases and 53+ RBI... The home run Adams hit is also the first home run a member of the current Bluejay team has hit off a Missouri State pitcher in last three seasons... Kurt Spomer is now in 7th place on the all-time Creighton charts with 10 saves in a single season...Ty Blach is the first MVC pitcher to 10 wins this year.