OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton had trouble pushing runs across in the series finale against Wichita State, picking up 11 hits but stranding eight base runners in the 5-1 loss. Creighton finishes the regular season with a 22-28 overall record, 6-14 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Four different Bluejays had a pair of hits for Creighton on the afternoon, with Chance Ross, Anthony Bemboom, Jake Peter and Brennan Murphy combining for eight of Creighton's 11 hits on the afternoon.
The Shockers got on the board first, stringing together four hits in the top of the second inning to push across a single run. Johnny Coy led off the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to third on a hit-and-run by Casey Gillaspie to put runners on the corners. Mikel Mucha singled to center field to drive in the run.
With a pair of runners on base, Erik Mattingly got Dayne Parker to pop out to third on a bunt before Tyler Baker ripped a double to right field. Mucha caught up to Gillaspie on the base paths, both runners just steps apart. A Murphy throw, relayed by Peter, reached Scott Thornburg at the plate, who tagged both runners to end the inning.
Creighton struggled to string anything together offensively against Shocker starting pitcher A.J. Ladwig, who put up scoreless innings through the fourth. The Jays put runners on base in three of the first four innings, but stranded all four runners.
The Bluejays finally pushed one run across in the bottom of the fifth inning, thanks to a lead off single by Peter. Murphy advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt before Ross and McKewon both singled on the left side to load the bases. Wichita State brought in Albert Minnis to pitch, who allowed a lead off single to left field to score one run, but Ross was tossed out at the plate. An infield ground out ended the frame with a pair of runners on base.
Wichita State put up single runs in both the sixth and eighth innings, the first run coming off Mattingly before he was taken out of the game in the sixth and a single run off Kurt Spomer, who tossed 1.0 innings of relief in the eighth.
The Shockers added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning, using a two run home run off the bat of Eric Harbutz, his second round tripper of the season.
Creighton opens Missouri Valley Conference Tournament play on Tuesday, May 22, as the No. 8 seed. They will take on Indiana State in the opening round, with probable first pitch at 12:30 pm in Springfield, Mo. The complete bracket will be released later tonight.
NOTES: The two teams combined for 25 hits on the afternoon, with the Shockers holding the 14-11 edge ...Creighton becomes just the third team in Valley history to go from winning the regular season one season, to finishing last the next season ... Brennan Murphy finished the weekend 4-7 with a double and a run driven in ... Creighton goes into the Valley Tournament next week without a starter hitting over .300, with Nick Judkins being the closest player hitting .297.