OMAHA, Neb. - An unearned run in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference as Oklahoma State baseball completed a 4-0 weekend at the TD Ameritrade Classic by defeating Creighton, 6-5, on Sunday, April 28th.
Oklahoma State (32-11) won its fifth straight game while Creighton (24-10) had saw its six-game winning streak and eight-game home win streak come to an end.
Down 1-0 in the second, Creighton struck for two runs in the bottom of the second on a two-run single to left by junior Federico Castagnini. Senior Michael Blatchford drew a one-out walk, then senior Brennan Murphy laced a single to left to put runners at first and second. With two down, junior Brad McKewon was hit by a pitch to load the bases to set up Castagnini's hit.
The Bluejays extended their lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from senior Alex Staehely. McKewon and Castagnini opened the inning with back-to-back singles, allowing Staehely to connect on his 13th career sac fly.
After allowing a run in the first, freshman Austin Groth settled down to retire 10 in a row to send the game to the fifth. Groth, however, walked the first two Cowboys in the fifth before giving way to senior Mark Winkelman, and Oklahoma State would tie the game on an RBI grounder and a single up the middle from Saulyer Saxon.
OSU scored two in the top of the eighth inning to claim a 5-3 lead. Tanner Krietemeier opened the rally with a one-out double. Winkelman coaxed a Randy McCurry popout in an epic 14-pitch at-bat for the second out before a bad-hop single off the bat of Victor Romero bounced over Reagan Fowler's head at first and plated Krietemeier. OSU made it 5-3 on a Zach Fish double to score Romero.
Creighton would battle back once again to even the score in the bottom of the eighth. Consecutive singles by Murphy and freshman Ryan Fitzgerald opened the eighth, then McKewon dropped down his second sacrifice bunt to put both men in scoring position. OSU called on closer Brendan McCurry to slam the door. He would strike out Castagnini before sophomore Jake Peter's double to the right-field corner scored a pair to knot the score at 5-5.
OSU opened the ninth inning when Rick Stover reached on an error. Pinch-runner Jarrett Higgins moved to second on a bunt and to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Donnie Walton's double to right-center against eventual losing pitcher, sophomore Mark Lukowski (4-2).
McCurry retired the Jays in order in the ninth inning to improve to 6-2 on the season.
Murphy had his second career three-hit game and scored twice for the Jays, while McKewon, Castagnini, Peter and Fitzgerald each had two hits on the evening. The Jays stranded 11 men on the night, eight of them in scoring position.
Creighton will be back in action on Tuesday, April 30 as the Bluejays host Kansas State at 6:30 p.m. in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The game will be televised statewide by Nebraska Educational Television (NET), with Kevin Kugler and John Bishop calling the action.
NOTES: Staehely's sacrifice fly in the fourth moved him into a tie for fifth in Bluejay history with 13 ... Fowler's HBP in the seventh extended his season-long (30 games) streak of reaching base.