TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - On a cold and rainy day in western Indiana, the Bluejays secured the series win with a 9-5 win over Indiana State. The Bluejays (25-7, 4-1) picked up 10 hits on the day, committing no defensive errors for the second straight game, while the Sycamores (19-14, 3-2) picked up eight hits on the day. Trever Adams finished the day three-for-four with four RBI, while Scott Thornburg, Nick Judkins and Jimmy Swift each had two hits of their own.
Creighton continued offensively where they ended the game last night, putting up two runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. After a lead off strikeout, the Jays put together three back-to-back-to-back hits, starting when Nick Judkins picked up the first hit of the game, driving a double to the right center gap. Judkins advanced to third on a wild pitch that hit the backstop on one bounce. Jimmy Swift then drove in the first run of the day, his second of the weekend, on a single through the left side of the pulled-in infield.
Trever Adams stood in with a runner on first base and knocked a single to center field, advancing a hustling Swift all the way to third. Swift beat out a bang-bang play at third, diving head first into the base and allowing Adams to advance to second. Alex Staehely then knocked out a sacrifice fly to center field, plating the second run of the game for the Jays. Adams was caught off the base at second on the play, allowing the run to score before getting tagged out between second and third.
The Jays picked up another run in the top of the third to extend the lead to 3-0. With two outs in the inning, Judkins stood in and ripped a ball in the exact same right center field direction of his first hit, but this time added a little more power and put it over the fence into the evergreen tree's beyond the fence.
Creighton starter Jonas Dufek was nearly perfect in the first two innings, striking out three and only allowing one base runner, a walk to lead off the second. The Sycamores picked the lock in the bottom of the third, putting three runs on the board on three hits, including a three-run home run by Koby Kraemer. After getting the first out in the inning, Jeff Miera picked up the first Sycamore hit of the day, a single to right field. Lucas Hileman picked up a single to the same spot, putting runners on first and second for Kraemer, who ripped his second home run of the season, driving it over the left field fence. For the first time in the series, the Sycamores were on the board, tying the game at 3-3.
The Bluejays took the lead back in the top of the fifth, scoring three unearned runs off Sycamore starter Jason Van Skike. With one out, Mike Gerber picked up the first walk of the game on four pitches. Brad McKewon then flew out for the second out of the inning, with a runner on first. Scott Thornburg advanced Gerber to second with a single through the left side, his first hit of the weekend series. Judkins then knocked in the first run, reaching base for the third time of the day, this time with a sharp hit that hit off the shortstop's glove into the outfield, plating the first run of the inning on the error.
The Jays scored two more runs in the frame. With runners on first and second, Swift walked, again on four pitches. Adams stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, the fourth time in conference play he has been put in the situation. Adams knocked in RBI 40 and 41 of the season with a single to the left side that scored both Thornburg and Judkins. The Jays took the 6-3 lead after five.
Dufek re-settled himself after the three run third, shutting down the Sycamores in order in the fourth and fifth, and allowed just one hit in the sixth before finishing the inning off with a grounder to third. Dufek was helped by his Bluejay defense, again playing errorless baseball.
Creighton's offense put three more runs on the board in the top of the seventh led by Adams' two run home run. The Jays saw three pitchers in the inning, as Van Skike was pulled after the lead off batter, Reggie Hochstedler was chased after the Adams home run and Brett Merkely came in to finish the frame. Pinch hitter Joey Bowens led off the frame with a hit by pitch, his seventh of the season. Back-to-back strike outs looking left the Jays with two outs and a runner on first. Swift picked up his second hit of the day with a single to right center that plated Bowens. Adams then stood in and ripped his ninth home run of the season, first in the last five games. Creighton held a 9-3 lead going into the seventh inning stretch.
Dufek's day ended in the seventh. After a lead off single, the senior right hander forced two fly outs and gave up a walk to put runners on first and second. Ed Servais brought in Jack VanLeur to get the final out, but instead the Sycamores put up two runs. The top of the order put up back-to-back-to-back singles, plating Burnam and Hartley. VanLeur did get a fielders choice groundball to end the inning, with the Jays still clinging to the 9-5 lead. Dufek finished the day with 6.2 innings pitched, five runs, five hits and five strike outs.
The Bluejays went down in order in the eighth and sent four to the plate in the ninth, not scoring another run after the seventh. Mark Winkelman came to the mound in the eighth with one out. He finished the game with 1.2 innings, no runs, no hits and one walk.
The two teams will take to the field tomorrow for the series finale, starting at 12:00 pm central time.
Quick Hits: Jonas Dufek has thrown at least six innings in each of his seven starts this season, including on Saturday's 6.2 innings. ... Creighton defense, which has been stellar for the most part this season, helped out the pitching staff with great defensive plays on Saturday. Both Alex Staehely and Chance Ross caught fly balls that, due to the wind, came down back behind their heads and the Bluejay fielders had to reach behind to make the catch... Trever Adams picked up his ninth home run of the season, the second in Valley play, but the first since last Saturday's 8-2 win over Illinois State... Creighton struck out ten times in the game on Saturday, bringing the two day total to 19, a few more than the Bluejays would like to see in the two days of Valley play... The bottom of the order for the Jays, batters six through nine, went just 1-for-14 on the day, with Chance Ross picking up the only hit