OMAHA, Neb. - Sophomore Reagan Fowler laced a walk-off RBI single up the middle in the bottom of tenth to give Creighton Baseball a 5-4 win on Friday, March 14 over South Dakota State in the Bluejays home opener at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
South Dakota State built a 3-0 lead with two runs in the third on a two-run single from Jordan Varga and an RBI safety squeeze from Eric Danforth in the fourth.
Creighton answered with two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Senior Cody Kottich opened the fifth with a solid single up the middle. Kottich went to third as junior Kevin Lamb laced a single into the gap in left-center. Lamb, however, was cut down trying to stretch it to a double. Sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald continued Creighton's hit parade with a triple into the right field corner to drive in Kottich. Senior Brad McKewon plated Fitzgerald with an RBI grounder to make it 3-2.
Creighton took advantage of some miscues by SDSU in the sixth as sophomore Brett Murray reached on an error to open the inning. Fowler followed with a single to left, then Kottich sacrificed both men into scoring position. With Lamb at the plate, South Dakota State starter Adam Bray launched a pitch into the home plate umpire's mask. The ricochet bounced so towards the first base dugout, allowing both Murray and Fowler to score.
Staked to a 4-3 lead, Creighton starter Matt Warren returned to the bump to open the seventh for one out before giving way to the Bluejay bullpen.
South Dakota State was able to scratch across the tying run via an RBI double from Jake Ratz in the eighth, but the Creighton bullpen held the line into the bottom of the tenth.
Freshman Nicky Lopez opened the additional frame with a four-pitch walk, but was cut down at second on a sacrifice attempt by junior Jake Peter. Peter moved to second on a wild pitch with senior Mike Gerber at the plate. With two down, the Jackrabbits opted to intentionally walk Murray. Fowler made South Dakota State regret the decision with the decisive single up the middle.
Peter earned the win for the Bluejays, tossing two innings of scoreless relief to move to 1-0 on the season. Jackrabbit reliever Joe Erickson took the loss (1-1), allowing one run on two hits in 3.2 innings of work.
The win lifted the Bluejays to 8-5-1 on the season, while South Dakota State fell to 9-9.
The Bluejays and the Jackrabbits continue their three game series on Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 pm.
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