Baseball's Bats Come Alive in 7-3 Win Over Kansas

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Chance Ross scored two runs on two hits and drove in one on Tuesday night
Courtesy: Dennis Hubbard

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team combined for a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record seven doubles on Tuesday night, helping them to a 7-3 win over Kansas.  The Bluejays out-hit Kansas 10-6, improving to 9-4 on the season when picking up at least 10 hits.

The win improves Creighton to 13-13 on the season, while Kansas drops to 12-16.  The win marks the third straight over Kansas, as Creighton swept the Jayhawks in two games last season. 

Three different Bluejays had a pair of hits each in the win, with Chance Ross, Nick Judkins and Jake Peter combining for six of Creighton's 10 hits on the night.  The first five batters in the Bluejay lineup combined for six hits and four runs, with Peter adding a pair of hits and two runs of his own while hitting in the nine-hole. 

Brandon Koenigstein picked up his second win of the season, throwing 2.0 innings of relief and allowing one run on one hit.  He struck out two batters in his first outing since the March 17 win over North Dakota.

Creighton got on the board in the first inning for the first time since game three against Missouri State (March 25).  Brad McKewon led off for the third straiht game, getting hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count.  Chance Ross then doubled down the left field line, putting both runners in scoring position. 

It looked like the Jays would squander their first scoring opportunity, however, with back-to-back pop-ups to the left side of the infield.  But Scott Thornburg put a ball into center field that dropped just under Dakota Smith's glove, scoring both runners to give the Jays a 2-0 lead early.

The Jayhawks came back and put up a pair of runs on their own in the top of the third inning off Bluejay reliever Andrew Urban.  Back-to-back hits to lead off the frame proved to cost the Bluejays their lead, as both runners came around to score in the inning.  A pair of sacrifice bunts and a ground out to shortstop ended the third with the game tied 2-2.

A two-out rally in the fourth-inning gave Creighton what would be the winning run, as the Jays used two doubles and a single to go ahead 4-2.  After a ground out and fly ball to left, Peter doubled to right field and scored when McKewon doubled to left center.  Chance Ross then singled to left center scoring McKewon.

Kansas did score one more run in the top of the fifth inning, when Tucker Tharp hit a solo home run off Brandon Koenigstein over the left field fence.  The Bluejays then put up the final run of the game in the seventh inning.  Ross was hit-by-pitch to lead off the frame, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Judkins.  An Anthony Bemboom single to right field scored Ross from second base.

The Creighton bullpen was again stellar, allowing just one run in the final six innings of play.  Mark Winkelman (2.0), Kurt Spomer (1.0) and Reece McGraw (1.0) combined for the final four innings of the game, not allowing a single Kansas runner to reach base safely.  The three combined for five strikeouts in the four innings.

Creighton hosts Indiana State in a three-game series this weekend, with first pitch set for Friday night at 6:00 pm from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

NOTES: Welcome back Michael Mutcheson!  In his first game since February 18 (out due to injury), Mutcheson knocked a double to left center in his first at bat in the second inning ... Creighton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the first time the Bluejays have had a lead before the fifth inning in the last seven games ... Creighton hasn't put up five runs in a game since the March 17, 16-3 win over North Dakota, a seven-game span ... Ty Blach started his nation leading ninth game of the season, throwing a pre-determined 1.0 innings.  He has now made four appearances against the Jayhawks, throwing 1.0 innings in each outing ... Jake Peter had four doubles in his first five games played this season, but just one in the next 18.  The freshman second baseman led the Bluejays with two on Tuesday night ... Peter marks the second player this season to pick up a pair of doubles in a single game, as Scott Thornburg had two at Portland (2/26) ... Four Bluejay pitchers have made appearances in all three of Creighton's wins over Kansas the last two seasons, as Brandon Koenigstein (9.0 combined innings), Mark Winkelman (3.2 combined), Kurt Spomer (4.1 combined) and Reese McGraw (4.2 combined) each pitched ... Brandon Koenigstein has picked up the last two wins against Kansas, a 5-3 win last season and the 7-3 win Tuesday.

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