Offense Erupts in 8-1 Win Over Nebraska

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Scott Thornburg picked up his first three-hit game of the season
Courtesy: Eric Francis

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team erupted offensively on Tuesday night, setting a new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record with 16 hits en route to an 8-1 win over Nebraska.  The win improves Creighton to 19-23 overall and marks the teams third straight win, the first time they have done so since a three-game streak March 11-13.

The win also gave head coach Ed Servais his 500th career win as collegiate head coach, improving the Jays skipper to 500-268-1.

Tuesday night's game was played in front of 12,184 fans, marking the second most fans at a single game in the country this year, and the third most in Creighton history at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

For the first time in this years series, the Bluejays got on the board first, putting up three runs in the home half of the first inning.  Creighton strung together five straight hits, the most consecutive hits this season, scoring all three runs on two outs.

With two outs, Nick Judkins singled through the right side and was put in motion on a hit-and-run with Anthony Bemboom at the plate.  Bemboom popped a ball down the left field line, dropping between the Husker third baseman and left fielder to score the first run.  Alex Staehely then singled to right field, scoring Bemboom.

Mike Gerber singled to right center, putting runners on the corner before Scott Thornburg singled to left field to push across Staehely and put the Jays up 3-0.

Creighton's pitching staff kept the Husker batters off-kilter in the first two innings, with starting pitcher Ty Blach and the first reliever Brandon Koenigstein combining to allow just one hit, although that batter was picked off on a throw from Bemboom to Judkins.

Nebraska got on the board in the third inning, picking up three hits off reliever Nick Musec to push across their first run.  After getting the first two outs of the inning, Musec surrendered singles to Cory Burleson, Kale Kiser and Michael Pritchard to put the Huskers on the board.

Both teams bats were silenced through the middle frames, with Husker relievers Tyler King and Ryan Hander combining to allow three hits and strike out one Bluejay, while Mark Winkelman kept the Huskers off the board in his 2.1 innings of work.  Winkelman allowed just one hit while striking out three batters before Creighton brought in Chase Webb with a runner on first and one out in the sixth inning.

Webb, who had gone 7.2 consecutive innings without letting a run score, walked the first batter he saw and hit the next batter to load the bases full of Huskers.  Webb then struck out Josh Scheffert before getting Rich Sanguinetti to ground out to Peter at second, stranding all three baserunners and holding onto the 3-1 lead.

The Bluejays put up a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, using four hits to give the Jays a 5-1 lead.  Nebraska brought in Aaron Bummer, and the right hander surrendered a leadoff single to Gerber down the right field line before Thornburg beat out an attempted sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second.

A fly out to left led to Murphy loading the bases with another single through the left side.  After a Ross strikeout, McKewon singled to right field, scoring both Gerber and Thornburg.

Creighton continued its offensive dominance in the bottom of the seventh inning, expanding its lead to 8-1 with three runs on three hits in the inning.  With one out, Staehely singled on the infield and advanced to third on a Gerber single to right center.  A Thornburg walk loaded the bases before a bases-clearing double from Peter pushed across the final runs.

Three different Bluejays finished the game with three hits, as Staehely, Gerber and Thornburg combined for nine of Creighton's 16 hits.  Judkins and Bemboom added two each, while Peter finished with a double and three RBI.

Creighton hosts Nebraska-Omaha tomorrow night, with first pitch also set for 7:00 pm from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.  UNO won the first game between the two teams earlier this season, winning 3-2 on March 27.

NOTES: Creighton scored four runs in the first inning in the third meeting between the two teams a year ago, winning the final game of the series 9-8 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha ... The last time Creighton had five hits in an inning was May 7, 2011, in a conference game at Wichita State ... Creighton had five hits in the first inning of game three.   The Jays had nine hits total in the previous two games, but just six combined hits in innings 1-8 before Tuesday night ... Scott Thornburg finished with three hits, his first multi-hit game since March 11, and his first three-hit game of the season ... Jake Peter was busy in the top of the seventh inning.  The second baseman fielded all three ground ball outs in the frame and had a fourth that was an errant throw ... Creighton tied a single-game high this season with 16 hits.  The Jays also picked up 16 hits in the win over North Dakota on March 17 ... Chase Webb has now thrown 9.1 consecutive scoreless innings ... Nick Judkins now has a team-high 15 multi-hit games this season, 25 in his career ... Five of Creighton's eight RBI came with two-outs, while Nebraska's lone RBI was also with two-outs in the inning ... Michael Pritchard became the third Bluejay opponent this season to pick up four hits in a game, with Kyle Stanton of Illinois State being the most recent ... Creighton's win broke up a possible sweep-bid by the Huskers.  It would have been the first time for a series sweep since 2008 when Nebraska was ranked in the top-10.

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