OMAHA, Neb. - Aided by six walks, three hit batters and three Butler balks, the Creighton baseball team breezed by Butler, 8-1, on Friday, April 25.
The win lifted Creighton to 21-13-1 overall and 6-1 in BIG EAST play, while Butler fell to 16-24 on the season and 4-6 in conference action.
Sophomore Matt Warren handled Butler's offense from the mound, limiting the Bulldogs to one run in seven innings to move to 9-0 on the season.
Both starters struggled with their control in the opening innings, but while Warren was able to limit the damage to one run in the second Butler's Gunner Johnson surrendered seven runs in his three innings of work to fall to 3-4.
The Bluejays plated four runs in the bottom of the first as senior Brad McKewon lifted a soft single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald. Junior Jake Peter was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, then senior Mike Gerber laced an RBI single to center to make it 1-0. Sophomore Reagan Fowler followed suit with a single to left to load the bases. Peter came home on a wild pitch, then Gerber scored on an RBI ground out from sophomore Brett Murray. Finally Fowler touched home via a balk by Johnson.
Two Butler errors led to two more Creighton runs in the second, pushing the Bluejay lead to 6-1, then Creighton tacked on runs in the third and fourth without a hit.
In the third the Bluejays gone a run without the benefit of a hit. Sophomore Nicky Lopez walked, moved to second when McKewon was hit by a pitch. He took third on a deep fly out to center by Fitzgerald and scored on a double steal. Johnson threw to first just after McKewon took off for second. Despite having two outs, the Bulldogs attempted to cut down Lopez at the plate. The Illinois native slid past the tag at the plate to make it 7-1.
Creighton's final run game in the fourth as Fowler opened the frame with a free pass, took second on a balk, advanced to third on a ground out by Murray and was sent home by the third balk of the game.
Fowler finished the day three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Lopez was 0-for-3 with two runs scored.
Creighton and Butler will conclude the three-game series on Saturday, April 26 as a rainy forecast has caused the final two games to be played as a doubleheader beginning at 2 pm.
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