PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Creighton Baseball blasted out 19 hits as the Bluejays posted an 12-6 win to even the series with Villanova on Friday, April 18.
The win moved Creighton into first place in the BIG EAST conference as the Bluejays are 19-12-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play. Villanova dropped to 11-23 on the season and 2-5 in BIG EAST action.
Senior Mike Gerber was the offensive leader for the Bluejays, collecting five hits, four RBI and a run scored. Gerber's 5-for-5 day at the plate marked the first time a Bluejays collected five hits in one game since Vicente Cafaro had five hits against Nebraska on May 7, 2009.
Gerber got things going for Creighton in the top of the first inning as he blasted a two-run double in the opening frame to push the Bluejays out to a 2-0 lead.
Creighton added a run on a Villanova error in the second and extended its lead to 5-0 in the third via a sacrifice fly from junior Jake Peter and an RBI single by Gerber.
After the Wildcats scored three in the fourth to chase Creighton starter Jeff Albrecht, the Bluejays got a run on an RBI double from freshman Nicky Lopez in the fifth and broke the game open with four in the sixth.
Peter opened the sixth with a double off the wall in right, then Gerber drew a full-count walk. Sophomore Reagan Fowler moved both runners up 90 feet with a sacrifice, then sophomore Brett Murray connected on a two-run triple to right-center. Sophomore Joey Mancuso followed with an RBI double to left, then junior Landon Lucansky doubled home Mancuso to make it 10-3.
Creighton's final two runs came in the eighth and ninth innings on RBI single by Lopez and another RBI from Gerber in the ninth.
Senior Bryan Sova earned the win (2-0) as he tossed a career-high 5.2 innings of relief, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four. Villanova's Matt Almonte fell to 1-4 on the season, surrendering five runs (four earned) on six hits in three innings of work.
In addition to Gerber's fine day at the dish, Mancuso finished 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Lopez was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Bluejay ace Matt Warren is expected to get the start in the rubber game of the series on Saturday. Warren was held out of the first two games due to a dental issue.
Creighton and Villanova will play the rubber game of the three-game set on Saturday, April 19 at 11:15 am.