Creighton Tops Kansas State in 11 Innings, 6-5, Before Season-High Crowd
OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton's bullpen threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball and a two-out error by Kansas State keyed Creighton's 6-5 win over Kansas State in 11 innings at Rosenblatt Stadium on Tuesday.
The win improves Creighton to 24-10, while K-State fell to 16-19 this spring.
Creighton scored once each in the second and third innings against K-State starter A.J. Morris. Steve Winkelmann had a lead-off double in the second frame and moved to third on Vicente Cafaro's sacrifice bunt. Winkelmann scored on T.J. Roemmich's ground out, giving CU a 1-0 lead. In the third inning the lead doubled to 2-0 on an RBI single from Darin Ruf. Ruf drove home Robbie Knight, who had singled and moved to second on a groundout.
Kansas State scored five times in the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead and end the night of CU starter Greg Hellhake. With one out, Hellhake's streak of 10 straight outs was snapped on Drew Biery's tape-measure homer to left. After a walk, single and double, his night was done and Jeremy Hauer came in. Hauer was greeted by a single from Carter Jurica that scored two and gave K-State its first lead at 4-2. After a balk, Jurica scored on a single by Omaha native Adam Muenster. Matt Patterson came on in relief and would notch four strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.
Creighton exploded with three runs in the sixth while cashing Morris and tying the game. Darin Ruf doubled and Winkelmann was beaned, prompting K-State to bring in reliever Chase Bayuk. Cafaro walked to load the bases before pinch-hitter Michael Lam's grounder cut down Ruf at home. Joe Servais' deep drive to left was hauled in but scored Winkelmann to make it 5-3. Tony Pechek then singled to center to score Cafaro, with Lam hustling to third on centerfielder Jordan Cruz's bobble. That would prove beneficial when Lam raced home on a two-out, two-strike passed ball to knot the score at 5-all.
Creighton had two on in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't score, then left them loaded in the bottom of the 10th frame against all-Big 12 closer Daniel Edwards.
The Jays caught a break in the 11th though against Edwards, who made the longest appearance of the season. Elliot Soto doubled down the line to start the inning and moved to third with one out on a ground ball to the right side by Winkelmann. After an intentional walk to Cafaro, Lam drove a 3-2 pitch up the middle. The ball appeared to take a bad hop and handcuffed the shortstop, Biery. Biery was charged with an error on the play as Soto scored from third without a throw.
Pat Venditte improved to 4-2 with three innings of one-hit ball, striking out four. The ambidextrous, reigning Valley Pitcher of the Week was making his national-high 22nd appearance of the season. Edwards was dealt his third loss in four decisions this season. KSU was led by three hits and two RBI from Jurica.
Creighton returns to action on Wednesday night with a 6:30 pm game against Iowa, who are led by former Creighton head coach Jack Dahm. The game can be heard on KOZN (1620 AM) and will be televised live on NET-2/NET-HD.
NOTES: The attendance of 1,447 was a season-high for Creighton ...Creighton has been hit by a pitch in 31 of 34 games this year ...Greg Hellhake's streak of 10 straight scoreless innings was snapped in KSU's five-run fifth inning, for which he was responsible for the first four runs ...Pat Venditte, who threw 3.0 scoreless innings tonight against Kansas State, last season started his MVC-record 43.2 inning scoreless streak on April 11 against Kansas State. His current streak is at 7.2 innings, while Kevin Dooley's streak without an earned run now stands at 15 innings.