BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Senior Bryan Sova delivered his second nine-inning effort, posting a 2-1 win over Seton Hall, on Saturday, May 24. The win lifted Creighton into the BIG EAST Championship game on Sunday, May 25.
Creighton moved to 32-16-1 following the victory and will face either Seton Hall or Xavier in the BIG EAST Championship game at 12 pm (CT) on Sunday. The Pirates and Musketeers are playing an elimination game set to begin at 3 pm (CT).
Sova was the star for the Bluejays, learning just hours before the game that he would be asked to start the game. Originally scheduled to be played on Friday evening, head coach Ed Servais turned in the lineup card with sophomore Taylor Elman as the starter. With rain pushing back the start until Saturday morning, Servais elected to put Sova in the game before a pitch was thrown.
The senior showed his skipper's genius as Sova limited Seton Hall to five hits and did not walk a batter as he went the distance to move to 6-1 on the season. Sova recorded five strikeouts, tossing a career-best 110 pitches.
Creighton took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, all after two men were out. After senior Brad McKewon and sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald were retired to open the third, junior Jake Peter lined a single up the middle. Senior Mike Gerber followed with an RBI triple off the wall in right-center, then sophomore Reagan Fowler laced an RBI double into a right-center.
That proved to be all the offense Sova would need. The Omaha native retired five of the first six batters he faced on ground balls and set down the Pirates' leadoff man in every inning but one.
The one time Seton Hall did get the leadoff man on was in the sixth as second baseman Chris Chiaradio pulled a triple into right field and scored on an RBI single by Kyle Jenkins to make it 2-1. Sova, however, held the Pirates right there getting the next three Seton Hall hitters on a sacrifice bunt, a fly out to center and a grounder to short.
Sova set Seton Hall down in order in the seventh and eighth innings and retired the first two hitters in the ninth. Down to their final out the Pirates got a double from Sal Annunziata to put the tying run in scoring position. After a brief meeting on the mound, Sova induced a sinking line out to center to wrap up the game.
Offensively Creighton was led by three hits from Fowler, while four others finished with one hit.