OMAHA, Neb. - Senior Mike Gerber and sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald each finished with two hits and three RBI as the Creighton baseball team swept North Dakota with an 8-6 win on Sunday, April 6.
The win lifted Creighton to 15-10-1, while North Dakota dropped to 6-15 on the season.
The Bluejays appeared to seize control with a four-run outburst in the second. Sophomore Reagan Fowler got things going with a one-out single. A walk to sophomore Brett Murray and a single to center from junior Kevin Lamb loaded the bases. Fitzgerald put the Bluejays in front as he belted a three-run triple into straight away center. David Wiedeman plated Fitzgerald via an RBI groundout to make it 4-0.
North Dakota answered with four runs of its own in the top of the third, highlighted by a two-run home run from right fielder Patrick Riewer.
Two innings later North Dakota nabbed a 5-4 lead with three consecutive one-out singles off reliever Nick Highberger.
Creighton responded quickly, plating three runs in the bottom half of the fifth. Senior Brad McKewon was hit by a pitch to open the Bluejays inning. After a sacrifice moved him to second, McKewon went to third as junior Jake Peter reached second on a fielding and a throwing error by North Dakota's Ryan Reese. Gerber followed with a double just short of the warning track in center field to drive home both Bluejays on the base paths. The next batter, Fowler, smacked the first pitch he saw into right field to push Creighton's lead to 7-5.
North Dakota inched closer with a run in the seventh, but Creighton ended the threat with an inning-ending double play as Fowler grabbed a grounder stepped on the bag at first and gunned down a runner at the plate.
In the Bluejays' half of the inning, Gerber got the run right back with a monster shot over the right field wall. It was Gerber's sixth home run of the season and his second of the year at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Junior Mark Lukowski and senior Bryan Sova shut down North Dakota in the final two innings to preserve the Bluejays third straight win.
Highberger allowed one run on three hits in two innings of relief to earn the win (1-0) for Creighton, while Sova got his sixth save of 2014. North Dakota's Jeff Campbell fell to 3-3, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and a walk in 6.2 innings.
The Bluejays return to action on Tuesday, April 8 as Creighton hosts Nebraska in the second game annual three-game series between the two teams. The Huskers took the first meeting by the score of 5-4 in ten innings on March 18. Tuesday's contest is scheduled to begin at 6:35 pm.
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