Bluejay Pitching Shuts Down Chicago State in Doubleheader Sweep
OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team received excellent outings from starting pitchers Jeremy Hauer and Zak Moore, as the Bluejay pitching staff shut out Chicago State in both games of a doubleheader Saturday at the CU Sports Complex, 11-0 in game one and 7-0 in the nightcap. Creighton improves to 9-4, while the Cougars fall to 3-9.
Hauer (3-1) struck out eight in six innings in game one to improve to 3-0 as a starter, while Moore (2-1) fanned nine in five innings. Each allowed only two hits, while the CU bullpen allowed only one hit in three innings of work.
Leadoff man Robbie Knight recorded four hits and scored five runs in the doubleheader. He got things started in the opener as he led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a Vicente Cafaro sacrifice and scored the first run on an RBI double by first baseman Darin Ruf in the bottom of the first.
The Jays then erupted for six runs in the second inning, using five hits and three Chicago State errors. Knight laced a bases-loaded double over the third base bag to score left fielder Joe Servais and catcher Brett Mieras. Ruf then added his second RBI of the game and the red-hot Steve Winkelmann notched his 18th RBI in six games with a run-scoring double. Designated hitter Tony Pechek capped off the inning with an RBI single.
Hauer, meanwhile, was tremendous for the third straight start. After allowing a leadoff single to CSU’s Michael Carpen, the left-hander retired 15 straight Cougars including seven by strikeout. Hauer finished with eight Ks for the second straight start, as he stayed perfect with three wins in three starts in 2008. He now has a 0.50 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 18 innings as a starter.
The Bluejay offense added another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to blow the game open. Servais led off the fourth inning with a single, then stole second and scored on an RBI single by Mieras.
Knight started the CU rally in the fifth, leading off with a single. He came around to score on a bases-loaded walk to Pechek. Servais then ripped a two-run single for his third hit of the day. The senior transfer from Kansas finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Knight also concluded the game 3-for-3, tallying three runs and two RBIs in the contest.
Senior captain David Merchant came in to work a scoreless seventh inning, ending the game by the run-rule. CSU starting pitcher Josh Appelbaum (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits in two innings. Colin Marshall followed, surrendering the final four runs on four hits.
Game two was dominated from the start by Moore. The junior right-hander struck out the side in the top of the first, giving way to another quick start from the Bluejay offense. It was Knight once again igniting the attack with a leadoff single for the second straight game. He stole third base and then scored on an RBI groundout by Winkelmann. Nick Nordgren then drove in Winkelmann with a single through the left side of the infield to make it 2-0 after the opening frame.
Nordgren extended the CU lead to 3-0 in the third inning, with another RBI single. The Jays then used a four-run fourth inning to take all suspense out of the nightcap. RBI singles by Michael Lam and Ruf made the score 5-0, before designated hitter Brandon Knox crossed home plate on a passed ball. Winkelmann concluded the scoring with a sacrifice fly, moving his team-leading RBI total to 23.
Moore continued to cruise, notching two Ks apiece in the second, third and fourth innings. He left after five innings, falling one strikeout shy of a career high. Right-handers Bob Lackovic and Ty Johnston came in to shut the door on game two.
Robert Vargas (2-2) took the loss for Chicago State, allowing seven runs on seven hits in five innings.
With the two-game sweep, Creighton improved to 28-0 in its last 14 doubleheaders. CU has swept all three of its doubleheaders so far in 2008.
The teams will again play a pair of games on Sunday, with a nine-inning contest scheduled for a 12:00 start time at the CU Sports Complex. Game two will follow 30 minutes after the opener and is set for seven innings.