Cuno, Soto Lead Baseball to 9-8, Comeback Victory over Stephen F. Austin

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Jimmy Swift
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas - After losing a lead in the ninth inning yesterday, the Creighton Baseball team responded by playing spoiler themselves.

Elliot Soto looped an RBI-single into center field to break an 8-8 tie in the 10th inning, giving Creighton (3-1) a 9-8 win over Stephen F. Austin (4-2), Sunday afternoon at Jaycees Field.

It was the third straight one-run game the Jays have played in, winning two of three.

The tenth inning started with Ian Dike drawing a walk. Alex Staehely then followed with a sacrifice bunt, before Robbie Knight posted the third of his three hits on the day to put runners on the corners for Soto.

Soto's hit fell just in front of the center fielder to give the Jays the winning tally.

His hit wasn't the only display of clutch hitting, as Clay Cuno sent the game into extra innings with a two-run single in the ninth.

With the Jays trailing by two, Soto started the frame with a walk. Trever Adams walked, and T.J. Roemmich moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Cuno then lofted a single to left to tie the game at eighth.

Several Bluejays posted solid afternoons, led by Adams and Knight, who both went 3-for-6. Jimmy Swift posted three RBI, while Soto and Dike both contributed a pair of hits.

Bobby Lackovic pitched two scoreless innings for his second victory of the season. Brad Oates suffered the loss for SFA, throwing the final two innings for the Lumberjacks.

The Jays jumped out to their second straight, three-run lead in the first inning, but could not hold on as SFA completed their comeback with a four-run seventh inning.

Three straight hits spelled the end of Brandon Koenigstein, as Jordan Lewis posted a pinch hit single, and Garrett Smith doubled to put the tying run on base. Tanner Hines then tripled over the head of Roemmich in right to tie the game.

Freshman Ty Blach was then summoned from the bullpen. He got ahead of Darren Crabtree 1-2, before a wild pitch in the dirt allowed Hines to score the go-ahead run.

The Jacks weren't done, however, as Jarid Scarafiotti walked with two outs, stole second and scored on a Bo Coffman double to make it 8-6 Jacks.

Hines led the way for the Jacks, going 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Smith and Bobby Loveless both added two hits to the SFA cause as well.

Creighton took its second straight three-run lead in the first. Knight reached on an infield single and moved to second when Crabtree mishandled a pickoff attempt from pitcher Jared West. Soto followed by moving Knight to third with a groundout and Adams scored him with a line drive single to center to make it 1-0.

Three Lumberjack errors in the inning aided the Bluejay effort, as Crabtree booted a Roemmich groundball on the next play. After a Cuno strikeout, Swift lined a double to the right field corner to score Adams and Roemmich for a 3-0 Bluejay lead.

Crabtree made up for his errors in the next inning, as he blasted a 3-0 offering from Mike Nihsen well beyond the right field fence for the first SFA tally.

The Bluejays manufactured that run back in the third, as Roemmich lined a double down the left field line to start the inning. Cuno did his job by advancing Roemmich to third with a lineout to right and Swift posted his third RBI of the day with a groundout to first.

The Jacks answered quickly with two runs in their half of the third. Smith singled, stole second, and came around on a Hines double to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Hines then moved to third after Staehely mishandled a pickoff attempt from Koenigstein, and scored on a sacrifice fly from the bat of Scarafiotti to make it a one-run game.

Adams plated a pair of runs with his two-out single in the fourth. A Dike single and a Staehely sac bunt started the inning. 

With Dike on second, Knight hit a hard grounder that was headed for center field. However, it bounced off the base umpire, keeping Dike at second, and Knight on first.

After that, West botched a potential double play ball off the bat of Soto, having to settle for one out on the play. That allowed Adams to drive in the fifth and sixth Bluejay runs.

The bats went silent for four half innings, as Koenigstein threw two perfect innings and Cody Ochs got through his two in 15 pitches.

SFA broke the short offensive slumber with an unearned run in the sixth. Crabtree reached on an error to lead off the inning, and eventually came around on a two-out single by Loveless to make it 6-4, and set up the wild finish.

Creighton will be back in the Lonestar State next weekend when the Jays face Sam Houston State and Northern Colorado at the Bearkat Invitational. First game of the weekend will be against UNC, Friday at 1:00 p.m.


NOTES: With the win, Creighton moved to 7-14 in games played in Texas, including a 2-9 mark in the last 11 games, under Ed Servais ... Creighton's first four games of the season have all been first-time match-ups for the Bluejays. The last time Creighton's schedule started like that was 2008 (Washington State, UT-Martin, Memphis and Western Carolina), and the time before that was 1984 (Xavier, St. Joseph's, Villanova and LaSalle) ... Knight's streaks of consecutive starts and consecutive games played extended to 99 and 146 respectively. His hitting streak (carried over from last year) was extended to seven ... The Jays are now 1-4 in their last five extra inning games against non-confernce opponents ... Joey Bowens remained perfect in stolen base attempts on his career, stealing his second base in as many attempts ... The last time Creighton played three consecutive one-run games was last March 25-29. They fell 7-6 to North Dakota, then won two, 4-3 contests over Southern Illinois.

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