CARBONDALE, Ill. - Single runs in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings were enough to give Creighton a 4-2 victory at Southern Illinois in the two teams' MVC opener at Abe Martin Field Friday.
Scott Thornburg had two hits and an RBI to pace the Jays (11-5, 1-0 MVC), while Trever Adams and Jimmy Swift had an RBI apiece. T.J. Roemmich was also 2-for-4, as seven of his last nine hits have been for extra bases.
Ryan Bradley (0-2) suffered the loss for SIU (9-13, 0-1 MVC), going six and allowing three earned runs.
Creighton had to overcome an early deficit, as the Salukis jumped out to an early lead in the first.
Chris Serritella hit his league-leading ninth home run of the season in the first for the 1-0 lead. The sophomore's bomb traveled over 400 feet, as he drilled a 3-1 fastball from Dufek out to right.
The Bluejays answered the next frame, as Roemmich laced a double to right-center to lead off the inning. After a Carson Vitale sac bunt, Roemmich scampered home on a Swift groundball to short, that was mishandled by Michael Stalter.
SIU re-took the lead with a pair of two-baggers in the third. Brock Harding came around on Chris Murphy's double off the base of the right-center field wall to put the Saluki's up 2-1.
The Bluejays answered a Saluki run for the second time, tying the game at two in its half of the fourth. Vitale reached on a swinging bunt, and was sacrificed to second by Swift. Thornburg then singled to left, as Vitale averted Tyler Bullock's tag with a slide to the outside of home plate.
Creighton took its first lead in the fifth, as a Robbie Knight single, a Soto walk and a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position for Adams. He followed with an RBI-groundout to short for what proved to be the winning run.
The Jays padded their lead in the seventh, benefiting from another Saluki wild pitch. Alex Staehely doubled to lead off to the frame and moved to third on a Knight bunt. After Soto's groundout couldn't do the job, Lee Weld uncorked a wild pitch to score Staehely.
The Bluejays and Salukis will play a doubleheader tomorrow to avoid impending rain on Sunday. The twinbill is slated for 12:00 p.m. tomorrow.
NOTES: Ed Servais moved to 14-10 all-time against Southern Illinois ... Creighton has won the last three season series over SIU ... Creighton stayed perfect in Friday games this season, moving to 5-0... The Bluejay record in MVC openers since 1986 is 13-12 ... Creighton has now opened MVC play against SIU seven times, posting a 4-3 record in those games ... Knight extended his on-base streak to 24, reaching in 57 of his last 58 games ... The four sacrifice bunts was a season-high for CU ... Ian Dike's three strikeouts matched a career-high that was set on Tuesday ... The win was the fifth of the season when the Jays have been out-hit ... Staehely's double was the first of his career ... Vitale's two sacrifice bunts were a single-game, career high ... Dufek's fourth win matched his total from his first two seasons combined ... Creighton has won 39 straight games when leading after six innings.