DALLAS, Texas - Powered by a seven-run sixth inning, the Creighton baseball team defeated Dallas Baptist on Saturday, Feb. 16.
The win moved the Bluejays to 2-0 on the season, while Dallas Baptist fell to 0-2.
Dallas Baptist took the lead with two in the third, then tacked on four runs in the fourth to chase Bluejay starter Tommy Strunc from his first appearance as a Bluejay. The freshman allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in 3.2 innings.
Trailing 6-1 entering the sixth the Jays bats went to work. Creighton sent 11 men to the plate in the frame, knocking out six hits and took advantage of two errors to snatch away the lead 8-6.
McKewon opened the inning with a single through the left side, then junior Federico Castagnini sliced a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third. Sophomore Jake Peter lifted a ball into short left field that bounced off the glove of DBU's Duncan McAlpine. McKewon came on to score, but Castagnini stayed at second. The next batter, Gerber, delivered his second RBI on a single through the right side to make it 6-3. Moments later, senior Brennan Murphy drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Senior Alex Staehely didn't miss his opportunity, blasting a three-run double into center field to knot the game at 6-6 and chasing Dallas Baptist starter, Jake Johansen.
The first hitter that DBU reliever Cody Beam faced was freshman Reagan Fowler. The Omaha native greeted Beam with an RBI single up the middle to give Creighton back the lead at 7-6. Senior Michael Blatchford strode to the plate next as a pinch-hitter. Blatchford dropped a bunt down the first base line and reached on the second Patriot error of the inning to put runners at first and second. Sophomore Kevin Lamb sent Fowler to third and Blatchford to second with another sacrifice, then McKewon capped the inning with an RBI single to left to make it 8-6.
Creighton added four more runs in the seventh, benefitting from a balk and RBI singles by Fowler, Blatchford as well as McKewon to make it 12-6. Finally in the ninth, Lamb blasted a two-run single and Peter tied a bow of the contest with an RBI single.
Eight of Creighton's nine starters finished with at least one hit, while McKewon, Gerber, Staehely and Fowler all posted multi-hit performances. Staehley finished with three hits, three runs scored and three RBI to lead the Jays offense.
Four Creighton relievers combined to limit Dallas Baptist to just one run on three hits over the final 5.1 innings. Sophomore Mark Lukowski earned the win (1-0) with 2.2 innings of one run ball. Peter made his first appearance on the mound for Creighton, tossing a scoreless final frame.
The Jays will go for the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m., Creighton opened the 2012 season with a sweep at Central Arkansas.