OMAHA, Neb. - Mike Nihsen went a season-long 5.2 innings, allowing just one run, as the Creighton baseball team exacted some revenge on Kansas State, winning 5-1 Wednesday night at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Wildcats had won the first meeting this season 12-1, in Manhattan, Kan.
Kansas State got an early 1-0 lead after a half inning as the team had the bases loaded with two outs. Drew Biery hit a ground ball down the third base line that hit the bag and bounced away from Bluejay third baseman Jimmy Swift, allowing everyone to advance a base and bring in the first run of the game.
Creighton tied it up in the bottom of the third when Carson Vitale blasted a home run on a line drive to left, his second of the year.
The Jays took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Swift drew a lead off walk and went to second on Ian Dike's sacrifice bunt. Runners were then on first and third when Vitale singled to left, and Swift scored as Becker hit a ground out to short.
It became a 3-1 lead in favor of CU in the sixth as Elliot Soto led off the inning with a triple to center over the head of Wildcat centerfielder Dane Yelovich. Darin Ruf brought in Soto with his 19th career sacrifice fly.
The team added more insurance in the seventh as the bases were loaded with one out. Soto drew a walk to bring in Vitale. Ruf then hit his second sacrifice fly of the day, bringing in Becker, and making it a 5-1 game.
Vitale finished the day 3-3, with a double and home run. He tied his season-high scoring two runs on the night, and bumped his average to .345, good for second on the team.
NOTES: At one point Nihsen retired 13 straight Kansas State hitters before Adam Muenster and Carter Jurica each reached on bunt infield singles...Jeremy Hauer made the first relief appearance of his career, coming on in the sixth inning for Nihsen...He came in for one hitter and retired Jordan Cruz to end the sixth...Ruf's 20 career sacrifice flies are the most in CU history...Creighton has now won three of its last four against the Wildcats, including two straight in Omaha...Jack VanLeur continued his hot pitching of late, as he has allowed just one run in his last 17.1 innings...Ruf now has 25 RBI, the second most in the Missouri Valley Conference to this point...VanLeur appeared in his nation-leading 19th game...It took Nihsen 31 pitches to get out of the first inning and 58 pitches to get through the next 4.2 innings...Creighton has now won a season-high four straight games, while Kansas State has dropped a season-high three straight.