Shane Liska's First Creighton Win Highlights 8-0 Shutout of Sycamore
OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team picked up 11 hits and rode the right arm of Shane Liska en route to an 8-0 shutout of Indiana State on Sunday afternoon. The win improves Creighton to 14-15 on the season, 2-7 in MVC play, while Indiana State falls to 26-7, 6-3 in the MVC.
Liska once again improved on his previous outing, this time throwing a Creighton career-high 6.0 innings and fanning a career best seven batters. The senior surrendered just three walks, facing the minimum amount of batters in two different innings.
Leading the charge offensively for the Bluejays on Easter Sunday was Nick Judkins, who finished with three hits, a run scored and one driven in. Chance Ross, Alex Staehely and Brennan Murphy each added a pair of hits apiece, with Ross driving in three runs and Murphy scoring three times.
The Bluejays put up six runs in the first four innings, scoring at least one run in each of the frames. Chance Ross, back in the leadoff position after a six game hiatus, opened the game reaching on an error by Indiana State's Tyler Waterhouse at third. A fielder's choice put Brad McKewon on first, and he was immediately scored when Nick Judkins ripped a double down the left field line.
In the second inning, back-to-back singles and aggressive base running by Alex Staehely and Jake Peter put both runners in scoring position with one out. A fielder's choice ground out off the bat of Brennan Murphy scored Staehely, but erased Peter from the bases. An errant throw by Indiana State starting pitcher Ryan Torgerson on a pick-off attempt moved Murphy to third base, before Ross singled on the infield to give Creighton a 3-0 lead.
The Jays put up another pair of runs in the third, thanks to a leadoff single by Judkins. Thornburg then scored Judkins with a double down the left field line before Staehely doubled to right center to score Thornburg. The three hits pushed Torgerson off the mound, as the Jays put the first loss on Torgerson this season (he entered the game 5-0).
Liska pitched into the seventh inning, but walked the leadoff batter and Creighton turned to Mark Winkelman. Winkelman surrendered a single to left field, but forced Koby Kraemer to line into a double play and ended the inning with a ground out.
Creighton added another pair of runs in the eighth inning, pushing their tally to eight runs, the most the Bluejays have scored since the March 17 16-3 win over North Dakota. With one out in the eighth, Jake Peter walked and advanced to third on a Murphy single. Ross then singled to left field, driving in both runs to close out the Bluejay win.
The Bluejays will break away from Valley play for the next four games, starting by traveling to Lincoln on Tuesday for the first of three games this season with Nebraska. The Jays host South Dakota State on Friday and Sunday next weekend, sandwiching a game against Iowa on Saturday.
NOTES: Shane Liska threw a Creighton career-high seven strikeouts on Sunday, besting his previous best of five, which he did in both of his last two starts ... In his three appearances in MVC play, Liska has thrown 12.1 inning, allowing just one run (a home run against Evansville) and striking out 17 batters ... The Bluejays scored more runs (6) in the first four innings of the game than they have in any full Valley game this season ... Creighton has now posted two shutouts this season, a 2-0 win over BYU and the 8-0 win today ... Indiana State came into the game nation's leading offense, averaging 8.2 runs per game. The Creighton pitching staff held the Sycamores to just 8 runs combined in the three game series ... Nick Judkins became the third player this season to pick up a pair of doubles in a single game for Creighton.