OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team kept pace with the high-powered Dallas Baptist offense, equaling the Patriots with nine hits each, but Creighton stranded 11 base runners in a 5-2 DBU win on Saturday night. The loss snaps Creighton's five game win-streak, dropping the Bluejays to 21-24 overall, while improving Dallas Baptist to 35-16.
The two teams play the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch set for 1:00 pm. The Bluejays are looking to join Wichita State and Indiana State as teams in the Valley to upend Dallas Baptist this season.
For the 18th time this season, the Bluejays got on the board first, this time pushing across a single run in the home half of the second inning. With two outs in the inning, Jake Peter singled up the middle and Brennan Murphy drew a four-pitch walk to put a pair of runners on base. Chance Ross then drove in the first run of the game for the Jays with a single up the middle to drive in Peter and give Creighton the 1-0 lead early.
Bluejay starting pitcher Shane Liska kept the Patriots in line in the first three innings, striking out four batters while not allowing a single hit. The high-powered Dallas Baptist offense broke through in the fourth inning, using six hits to push across five runs, highlighted by a pair of two-run home runs, first by Landon Anderson and two batters later from Duncan McAlpine. DBU took a 5-1 lead after three and a half complete.
Creighton took advantage of a lead off double from Gerber in the bottom of the fourth to score its second run of the game. A Thornburg ground out moved Gerber to third before Murphy beat out a throw at first base to push across Gerber. DBU held its 5-2 lead after four complete.
The Bluejay bullpen combined to shut down the Patriots in the final five innings of the game, as Mark Winkelman (1.1 innings), Chase Webb (1.0 innings), Kurt Spomer (1.0 inning) and Andrew Urban (2.0 innings) combined to surrender just three hits through the second half of the ballgame.
While DBU's reliever Stuart Pudenz baffled the Bluejay batters for two innings, the Jays put together a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out, Ross singled back to Pudenz and McKewon walked to bring the tying run to the plate. But Pudenz struck out the final two batters of the game to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Ross and Judkins each had a pair of hits on the night to lead Creighton offensively.
NOTES: Creighton and Dallas Baptist are now tied 3-3 in their overall series history, 1-1 in this weekend's series ... The two home runs are just the third and fourth surrendered from Shane Liska this season in his 16 outings. They are also just the fourth and fifth hit in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha this season ... Mark Winkelman came into the game inheriting his 20th runner of the season and again stranded the runner ... Mike Gerber nearly had Creighton's second home run at TD Ameritrade Park this season, hitting a ball off the top of the wall at the 375 foot sign in right center in the bottom of the fourth inning ... Chase Webb nearly surrendered his first earned run at home this season in the top of the fifth season. Webb allowed a lead off double in the inning, but got a ground out and a pair of fly balls in the shallow outfield to extend his streak to 18.0 innings ... Dallas Baptist became the first team to homer twice in an inning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Saturday's game was the 60th played in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha ... Mike Gerber and Brad McKewon took turns leading off in innings on Saturday night. Gerber led off in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings, while McKewon hit first in the third, fifth and seventh frames ... The five runs Dallas Baptist pushed across in the fourth inning are tied for the most in any inning against Creighton in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha ... Andrew Urban struck out a pair of batters in the ninth inning. It marks just his fourth and fifth strikeouts this season, and the first since he struck out a pair of batters against North Dakota on March 17.