Bluejays, UIC Combine For 11 Home Runs in 13-10 Baseball Victory

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Courtesy: Michael Clements/UTA Athletics

CHICAGO, Ill. - The only park that could have held Creighton (10-4) and UIC (2-12) on Friday was Yellowstone.

Ten different players combined for 11 home runs on a blustery day at Les Miller Field, as Creighton tied a school record with seven home runs in a 13-10, 11-inning victory, Friday afternoon.

The Bluejays have belted seven home runs two other times in school history. The first was against Grand View on Feb. 28, 1991 and the last coming against Southern Illinois on April 7, 2001.

T.J. Roemmich was the only player to homer twice, matching Elliot Soto with a game-best three RBI. Soto finished 3-for-6 with a home run as he was joined by Alex Staehely, Carson Vitale, Trever Adams and Jimmy Swift in the home run column. 

Brandon Koenigstein earned the victory, throwing a hitless, scoreless final two innings for his second win (2-0) of the season.

UIC came back from an early deficit by pushing across the tying run in the ninth. John Rosinski laced a one-out triple to left-center off Jack VanLeur, and scored on a Ryan Meehan sac fly to center to knot the game at 10.

The Jays batted all nine men in the 11th, posting three runs for the final margin. With Ian Dike on third and Zane Hinkel on first, Robbie Knight's single to right scored Dike for the winning run.

A Soto pop-out shallow left was lost in the lights, falling for a single and scoring Hinkel. The last Creighton run came on a Vitale infield single with the bases loaded for the final three-run margin.

Michael Heesch suffered the loss for UIC, falling to 1-3 after throwing 6.1 innings of relief, striking out nine but allowing five earned runs.

Steve McGuiggan, Chris Rutta, Nathan Orf and Joe Betcher accounted for the four UIC home runs.

The two squads traded three-spots in the third with two home runs apiece. Staehely blasted his first home run to put the Jays up 1-0, and after a Knight HBP, Soto launched a Rafael Garcia over the 403 sign in center for a 3-0 Creighton lead.

UIC answered in the bottom half as McGuiggan belted a one-out solo shot, and Orf hit a two run shot to left to knot the game at three.

Creighton hit its first of two, back-to-back shots in the fourth to retake the lead. Vitale homered to left-center and Swift went opposite field, his second consecutive game with a homer, down the right field line for a 5-3 Creighton lead.

The Jays put up their second straight inning with back-to-back shots in the fifth. Adams' two-run bomb over the Flames sign in right-center, and Roemmich's slicing shot to left-center put the Jays up 8-2.

The Flames started to chip away with three unanswered runs; starting with two in their half of the fifth. After a Jason Ganek double, Rutta hit, you guessed it, another home run to cut the lead to 8-5.

Betcher got in on the action in the sixth, hitting a bomb over the scoreboard in left to make it 8-6.

Creighton tried to pull away by getting two of the three back in the seventh. After a one-out Adams single, Roemmich blasted his second home run of the day to make it 10-6.

The first non-home run tallies finally came in the bottom of the seventh. Ryan Meehan doubled with two-out to score Matt Serna all the way from first. After a Betcher walk, Andy Leonard doubled both of them in to cut the deficit to one, setting up the Flame comeback in the ninth, and the 11th inning Creighton rally.

CU and UIC are set to tangle tomorrow back at Les Miller Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

NOTES: Knight made the first start of his career at designated hitter. Friday's game was the 187th game of his career ... According to Creighton records, this is the first game in team history to be played in Chicago ... The win brought CU's records against UIC and the Horizon League to 7-1 and 22-2 respectively ... Knight has now reached in 22 straight, and 55 of the last 56 games ... Staehely's home run was also the first extra-base hit of his career ... The two home runs were the first time this season the Jays have hit multiple home runs in one inning. The last multi-homer inning was at South Dakota State on April 28, 2009. The players to go deep were Knight at Vicente Cafaro ... The last back-to-back homers were by Cafaro and Roemmich against South Dakota State in the March 15, 2009 meeting ... Most combined home runs since 1999 was in that year, on April 10 against Southern Illinois when the Jays (7) and the Salukis (2) combined for nine ... Knight's HBP in the third inning moved him into a tie for 5th on the NCAA's all-time list with 76 ... The last time CU had four or more home runs in the first three innings was March 11, 2006 at Tennessee Tech ... The last time a second baseman and shortstop homered in the same game for Creighton was May 8 2005, against Northern Iowa (Tony Roth and Brad Dutton) ...

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