OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team struggled to get its offense going in the series finale against Evansville, picking up just three hits in a 1-0 loss. The Bluejays drop to 12-13 on the season, 1-5 in MVC play, while Evansville improves to 18-10, 3-3 in the conference.
The loss on Sunday caps a series win for the Purple Aces, marking the first time since the 2006 season the Bluejays have lost a series to Evansville. That series was also played in Omaha.
Evansville starting pitcher Kyle Freeland had a gem of a day on the mound, throwing a complete game and surrendering just three hits. Freeland kept all Bluejay hitters off the bases until the fifth inning, when he issued a walk and surrendered his first of three hits in the game. In his first complete game of the season, Freeland struck out six Bluejays and needed just 93 pitches.
In his first start of the season, Creighton's Shane Liska tied a career-high with five strikeouts through his 4.1 innings of work. Liska struck out the side in the fourth inning, before the Purple Aces started off the fifth with a solo home run off the bat of Trentt Copeland, proving to be the lone run of the ballgame.
The Bluejay bullpen was stellar in relief for the second straight game. Bluejay reliever Nick Musec came in to throw 3.0 scoreless innings, keeping the Purple Aces lead just one run into the eighth, when Reese McGraw came into the game.
With two outs and a runner on second, McGraw let loose a ball to the backstop, putting Staments on third base. an intentional walk to Mahon put runners on the corners before McGraw fooled Pollock, striking out the designated hitter looking to end the frame.
Creighton will stay in Omaha for the midweek game this week, hosting the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday, April 3. Creighton is 19-10 all-time against the Jayhawks, including winning both games last season (4-3 in 12-innings in Lawrence and 5-3 in just the fifth game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha). First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6:00 p.m. from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
NOTES: For the second straight game, Brad McKewon found himself in the leadoff position ... Creighton's first baserunner of the game came in the fifth inning, when Alex Staehely walked. Mike Gerber also picked up the first Bluejay hit of the game ... After throwing 5.1 innings scoreless innings in the midweek game against Nebraska Omaha, Nick Musec has now extended his scoreless streak to 8.1 with his outing on Sunday. He has struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits in that span.