NORMAL, Ill - In what could be the final game for Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Jays were eliminated from the MVC Tournament by Wichita State, 11-4, on Wednesday, May 22.
Creighton fell to 30-18 with the loss, while Wichita State moved to 35-26 overall. The Shockers advanced to play in another elimination game on Thursday, May 23 at 9 a.m. against the loser of the 4:30 p.m. game between Indiana State and Southern Illinois.
Wichita State got out to a 3-0 lead in the opening inning as Creighton starter, freshman Austin Groth, yielded five hits to the first six batters. The lone out recorded by Groth came on a dazzling diving catch in center by senior Mike Gerber. Fellow freshman Taylor Elman stopped the damage with a strikeout and caught stealing double play to end the inning.
A solo home run by Shocker first baseman Casey Gillaspie pushed it to 4-1 and Wichita State tacked on another in the third to extend its lead to 5-1.
Creighton answered back quickly with two runs in the top of the fourth. Senior Alex Staehely opened the inning with a Texas leaguer to left. Fowler followed with an RBI triple to right center, then sophomore Kevin Lamb drove home Fowler with an RBI single to left to cut the deficit to 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth the Shockers put up two more on a long ball from designated hitter, Johnny Coy over the left field wall. Coy's blast also plated Gillaspie, who drew a two-out walk.
The two-time defending MVC Tournament Champions, refused to go down without a fight. Gerber opened the top of the sixth with his fifth home run of the year over the right-center field wall. Wichita State, however, continued to put runs on the board. The Shockers put up two more in the sixth to make it a 9-4 game entering the top of the seventh.
Wichita State's AJ Ladwig earned the win (5-5), holding Creighton to four runs on 10 hits in a complete game. The Bluejays' Groth fell to 2-2, allowing three run on five hits in one-third of an inning.
Offensively the Jays were led by Fowler's 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and an RBI.