Baseball Tops Nebraska, 13-5
LINCOLN, Neb. - Creighton's lack of key hits and bad fortune from the past weekend quickly disappeared Tuesday night in Lincoln.
Alex Staehely and Elliot Soto led off the game with tone setting back-to-back home runs, as the Jays (14-8) jumped to a 7-0 lead, eventually cruising to a 13-5 victory over Nebraska (15-14) at Haymarket Park.
The win was the second consecutive, and third in last four games in Lincoln. The last time the Jays posted two straight victories in the capital was in 1992-93.
Soto was one of several Jays to contribute, as he matched his career high in hits with a 4-for-6 day. Scott Thornburg and Trever Adams also added home runs for the Jays, with Adams finishing 3-for-5 with three RBI.
Matt Patterson picked up his first win of the season (1-1), hurling 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, while striking out two. Chase Adams suffered the loss for Nebraska.
Two home runs from the unlikeliest of sources put the Jays up in the first. Soto launched his shot over the 356 marker in left center, and Staehely's blast stayed just inside the left field foul pole. It was the second time the two had homered in the same game this season.
The Jays weren't done in the inning, as an Ian Dike pop-up was blown away from a drifting Chad Christensen at short, scoring Adams from second and going as a double for Dike.
Creighton put up its second three-spot in the second. Zane Hinkel was hit by a pitch following a Jimmy Swift single to set up a bunting situation for Soto. His bunt was perfectly placed between the catcher and pitcher, going for a single and loading the bases.
A wild pitch plated the first run of the frame, followed by a sac fly from Staehely to make it 5-0 Jays. An Adams double down the left field line provided the third Bluejay run, for a 6-0 lead.
Thornburg's solo shot in the third put the Jays up 7-0, but the Huskers got right back into the game in the bottom half with five runs.
A Kale Kiser double, Adam Bailey single and Tyler Farst single plated the first Husker run. After a Cody Asche strikeout, Christensen brought home two runs with a slicing double to right-center gap. After Mark Winkelman relieved starter Mike Nihsen, Cade Thompson greeted him with a bullet through the middle to cut the lead to 7-4. A Bryan Peters bunt single preceded a DJ Belfonte single to right that plated the fifth run.
True to form, Creighton was quick to answer, as a Staehely single set up Adams' fourth home run of the season, pushing the Jay lead back up to four at 9-5.
From that point, but staffs settled down, as neither team scored for the next four and one-half innings.
The wheels finally came off for the Huskers in the top of the ninth, as the Jays posted some insurance. Two errors in the frame led to four unearned runs, as a Carson Vitale popup was dropped at second base, and Dike reached on a bunt single to start the frame.
After a sac bunt and an intentional walk, a wild pitch and a botched pickoff attempt at third plated three Jays runs. Two batters later, Staehely recorded his third RBI with his second sac fly to provide the final margin.
The Jays will be back in action tomorrow against Kansas. First pitch from Rosenblatt Stadium will be at 6:30 p.m.
NOTES: Staehely extended his hitting streak to 12 games, marking a season-best for Creighton, while posting a season-high two RBI ... Staehely and Soto's home runs to start the game were the third back-to-back shots in the first inning since 1999. Darin Ruf and Steve Winkelman went back-to-back on March 25, 2008 against South Dakota State, and Scott Allen and Ovid Valentin accomplished it on May 8, 1999 against Bradley ... Before its four homers tonight, Creighton owned just five homers in its first 11 games at Haymarket Park against the Huskers ... The lineup was the 16th different order, and ninth different defensive alignment Ed Servais has used ... The three-run first inning was the first time the Jays had scored multiple runs in the first against the Huskers since April 27, 1999 ... Adams' stolen base was his first as a Bluejay ... The 13 men left on base by Nebraska tied for most this season by a Creighton opponent. The Jays stranded 13 Northern Colorado runners on March 7 ... T.J. Roemmich's streak of four straight games with two hits ended, as he went 1-for-4.