CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A five-run second keyed an offensive explosion for the Creighton baseball team as the Jays pounded Southeast Missouri State (SEMO), 17-2, on Tuesday, March 12.
The win lifted the Bluejays to 7-3 on the season, while Southeast Missouri State fell to 9-9 overall.
Creighton starter, junior Brett Swain, limited the damage in the first inning to one run as he worked out of a bases loaded one-out jam thanks in large part to a diving catch made by fellow junior Brad McKewon to end the inning.
Down 1-0 in the top of the second, the Bluejays started slowly as freshman Reagan Fowler popped out, senior Brennan Murphy walked, then freshman Tommy Clouthier grounded back to the mound. Southeast Missouri State might have gotten out of the inning on the ball hit by Clouthier, but Redhawk starter Luke Shearrow bobbled the grounder before going to first. The Jays took advantage as the next seven batters reached safely.
Sophomore Kevin Lamb began the onslaught with an RBI through the right side. Lamb went to second on the throw to the plate and scored on an RBI double from junior Brad McKewon that chased Shearrow. The new SEMO pitcher, Hank Williams Jr., hit junior Federico Castagnini, then gave up an RBI single to sophomore Jake Peter as Creighton took a 3-1 lead. Junior Mike Gerber was hit by a pitch to load the bases, finally senior Alex Staehely reached on an error allowing both Castagnini and Peter to score.
Staked to a 5-1 lead, the Jays offense continued to produce, adding two runs (7-1) in the third on one hit, a passed ball, a wild pitch and an error. Gerber opened the fourth with a solo home run (8-1) over the right field wall. Then the Jays delivered the knockout blow in the sixth with seven runs on six hits and an error.
Castagnini and Peter opened the frame with singles, then Gerber followed suit with an RBI single to center. After a passed ball put both Jays in scoring position, Staehely rifled a single through the left side to drive in two. Up 11-2 the Bluejay got an RBI walk from junior Jerry Mitchell, a two-run single from McKewon and a sacrifice fly by Castagnini before the inning ended with Creighton leading 15-2.
Before it was over, Peter added his two more via his first home run of the season as Creighton posted its highest run total since defeating Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 22-0 on Feb. 20, 2010.
Swain earned the victory (1-0) in his first appearance of the season, allowing one run on one hit in two innings. Swain qualified for the win despite pitching just two innings as the Jays stated before the game the starter would throw a limited number of innings.
Offensively Peter finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs score, while McKewon was 2-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored.
Creighton is scheduled to open the 2013 home season against North Dakota on Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m.