OMAHA, Neb. - Two first inning runs and a rally in the ninth wouldn't be enough to propel the Creighton baseball team past Indiana State on Friday night, as the Bluejays dropped a 6-3 decision. The loss snaps a three-game win streak the Jays had over the Sycamores, after sweeping the series in Terre Haute last season.
Chance Ross led the Bluejays offensively, going 2-4 with a double and a triple and driving in the first run of the ballgame, while Nick Judkins scored a pair of runs on a 1-4 night. Creighton was out-hit 8-7 in the game, with Ross the only Bluejay with multiple hits on the night.
The Jays fall to 13-14 on the season, 1-6 in conference play while the Sycamores improve to 25-6, 5-2 in The Valley.
Brad McKewon led off the game with a single to left field and moved to second on a wild pitch. Chance Ross then ripped a triple to left center, rolling to the fence just under the 375 foot marking and scoring McKewon from second base. A sacrifice fly by Scott Thornburg pushed across the second run of the inning, giving Creighton the 2-0 lead.
Bluejay starter Ty Blach breezed through the Indiana State lineup the first time, sitting down the Sycamores in order in the first two innings. Indiana State put up their first run in the third inning, using a pair of singles to the outfield to move and score Ryan Walterhouse after Blach hit Walterhouse with a pitch to lead off the frame.
Creighton added another run in the third, but would be shutout the rest of the game by the Sycamores starting pitcher Dakota Bacus. The right hander struck out seven Bluejay batters in 8.0 innings of work on the mound. He improves to 5-2 with the win, his second in the MVC.
Indiana State put up a three-spot in the top of the fourth, and added solo runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to put the score at 6-3 heading into the ninth. The Sycamores stranded 11 runners on base (compared to Creighton's five), including three in the third inning when Blach forced Robby Ort to line-out to Alex Staehely at shortstop.
The Bluejays put on a pair of runners in the bottom of the ninth when Indiana State brought in Tyler Browning from the bullpen. Browning walked Thornburg and Mike Gerber, forcing the Sycamores to again go to the 'pen. With one out, Indiana State brought in Chris Machado, who got Jake Peter to line into a double play to end the game.
The Bluejays and Sycamores will play the second game of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon, with the first pitch set for 2:00 pm from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
NOTES: The Bluejays have now scored in the first inning in two straight games, marking the third time they have done that this season; a three-game stretch at Pacific March 10, at Pacific March 11 and vs. BYU March 13; and vs. North Dakota (DH) 3/17 ... Creighton has scored in the first inning of 11 games this season, scoring at least two runs in eight of those 11 games and now sits at 7-4 when scoring in the first inning ... Chase Webb allowed his first run since March 4, when he surrendered a run in the 8th. That marked 11.0 straight scoreless innings ...