HUNTSVILLE, Texas - It's safe to say that the Creighton baseball team has kept its fans on the edge of their seats this season. Saturday evening was no different.
Tyler Fiebrich gave the Bearkats a 5-2 lead in the top of the 10th with a bases-clearing double, but Creighton did not go quietly.
Scott Thornburg capped a four-run comeback with a two-out, walk-off single to give the Jays a 6-5 victory over Sam Houston State, Saturday evening at Don Sanders Stadium.
The hit, Thornburg's first of the season, found its way past the SHSU third baseman to score T.J. Roemmich. It gave the Jays their fifth win in six games to start the season.
"It was a great way to get my first hit," said Thornburg. "That last inning showed what our team is all about. We'll enjoy this win tonight, but we are already focusing on tomorrow," Thornburg added.
The 10th inning looked bleak, as the Jays faced a three-run deficit. The Jays put the first three men on, as Carson Vitale was hit by a pitch, Robbie Knight singled and Elliot Soto walked. After a Trever Adams strikeout, Roemmich was plunked to make it a 5-3 game.
Matt Shelton started the inning on the mound for SHSU, and was yanked in favor of Justin Jackson. Jackson struck out Clay Cuno for the second out, but Jimmy Swift capped a 3-for-4 night, with a two-RBI single to tie the game, setting up Thornburg's heroics.
Creighton's comeback eased some frustration, as SHSU's Dallas Gallant was masterful. The junior struck out 13 batters, allowing two Creighton runs on just four hits. With Gallant cruising, Brandon Koenigstein did his part on the mound, keeping the Bluejays in the game. He went 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three.
Despite Gallant's masterful start, Creighton took the first lead for the sixth straight game.
Knight started the game with a walk, was sacrificed over by Soto, and moved to third on an Adams flyout. Roemmich's bounding ball up the middle found grass, putting CU up 1-0.
The Bearkats tied it in the top of the third. Braeden Riley singled with
two out, and Mark Hudson quickly followed with howler down left field line that
went for a double, scoring Riley.
Riley had his hand in the second Bearkat run too, as his two-out, looping double in the fifth fell just inside the left field line, scoring Jessie
Plumlee for a 2-1 Bearkat lead.
Creighton finally broke Gallant's command in the seventh. Swift singled leading off the inning and moved up on a Thornburg bunt. Ian Dike then snuck a groundball past a diving Taylor Davis at first to score
Swift for the tying run.
Creighton nearly took the lead shortly thereafter, as Dike moved up to second with two outs, bringing up Knight. The senior lined
a ball to right-center field, but Olson ranged to his right and made a
full-extension, diving catch to preserve the tie into the eighth inning.
Shelton took the loss for the Bearkats (1-8), falling to 0-2. Bobby Lackovic earned the win, moving to 3-0 on the season.
The Jays' next game at the Bearkat Invitational will be tomorrow afternoon.
They will face off against Northern Colorado
at 2:00 p.m., back at Don Sanders Stadium.
NOTES: Knight extended his games played streaks
for the second time Friday, as he started his 101st straight game and appeared
in his 147th straight ... Also, his streak of consecutive games with multiple
hits ended at 6 ... Creighton has led first in all six games season. That
hasn't happened since at least 1999 ... Five of Creighton's last six games have
been decided by one run ... The Bluejays have now played two extra-inning affairs six
games into the season. The other three years that has happened were 2009, 1980
and 1972 ... Gallant's 13 strikeouts tied a Sam Houston State record in their Division I era for most strikeouts by a single player in a game ... The Jays haven't won five of six to start the season since 2000. They ended that season at an NCAA Regional ... Creighton was out-hit 14-7, marking the third time this season the Jays have been bettered in the hit column and won ... The last time the Jays were down three runs in extra innings and came back and won was in the 2007 MVC title game against Wichita State. CU was down 9-6 in the 11th, tied it, and won in the bottom of the 12th inning.