LAWRENCE, Kan. - For the first time in the last five tries and the first time in Ed Servais' career, the Bluejays defeated the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday, a 10 inning come from behind 4-3 win. The Jays trailed 3-0 until the top of the fifth, but scored two runs in the fifth, one in the eighth and one in the 10th to earn the win. Alex Staehely went three-for-five on the day, including knocking in the game winning run on his first triple of the season. Creighton improves to 3-1 while KU falls to 1-3.
Both Creighton and Kansas struggled to get any offense going early, as both teams went three-up, three-down through the first inning, and didn't get more than one runner on base in any given inning through the third. Brandon Koenigstein was lights out on the mound for Creighton through the first three innings, allowing just one hit and forcing four fly-outs.
After the Jays left two runners on base in the top of the fourth, with Jimmy Swift and Mike Gerber left on base to end the inning, the Jayhawks got on the board first with a three run, fourth inning. Macias reached first on a towering fly ball to left field that Erik Mattingly wasn't able to handle. Waters then doubled to the left center fence, scoring Macias from first. Stanfield and Jake Marasco had back to back hits, scoring on Elgie's double to left center. Jack VanLeur came in to pitch for Koenigstein, shutting down the next two batters. The Jayhawks scored three runs on four hits and left one on in the fourth, ending the inning with a 3-0 lead. Koenigstein finished with 3.1 innings pitched, five hits, three runs, and one walk.
Creighton answered right back, scoring two of its own in the top of the fifth. Chance Ross singled to right field, followed by an Anthony Bemboom single through the right side. Ross was taking off on the pitch, and put runners on the corners with no outs. Nick Judkins singled through the right side, knocking in Ross and his fourth RBI of the season. Jimmy Swift was hit by a pitch followed by a Trever Adams hit that scored Judkins.
The two teams again went back to scoreless ball through the next two innings, with only three runners getting on base, by a walk, a hit by pitch, and a Staehely single up the middle.
The Jays scored one run in the top of the eighth to even the score at three all. After a Joey Bowens fly out, Staehely hit one that got held up by the wind and hustled out a double. Gerber then sent one right back up the middle, scoring Staehely from second base. It was Gerber's second RBI of his career. Gerber stole second, but the scoring threat was squashed after a Ross strikeout and Scott Thornburg groundout.
After shutting down the Jayhawks in the bottom of the seventh, Kurt Spomer again shut down the Jayhawks in the bottom of the eighth, forcing a ground out and flyout, before Mark Winkelman came in to end the inning. VanLeur and Spomer finished the game with 2.0 and 2.1 innings pitched, respectively, each striking out a batter and not allowing a hit.
Creighton threatened in the top of the ninth, when Mutcheson walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a Judkins sacrifice bunt. But the Jays couldn't advance him any further, as Swift grounded out to the third baseman and Adams struck out swinging. Winkelman shut down the first batter in the bottom of the ninth, but then walked the next. Ed Servais brought in Reese McGraw to finish the inning off, forcing a double play to end the inning.
The Jays took their first lead of the game in the top of the 10th inning. With a 1-1 count, Bowens took a pitch in the middle of the back to earn a trip to first base. Staehely then ripped his first triple of the season to the right-center field fence, scoring Bowens from first. Creighton tried to squeeze home Staehely, but a bunt back to the pitcher made for an easy Jayhawk out at the plate. The Creighton threat ended when Thornburg flew out to right field. The Jays led 4-3 going into the bottom of the 10th inning.
McGraw started off the inning by striking out Eldredge, but then hit DeLeon to put a runner on first base. McGraw forced a ground ball to Staehely, a perfect double play ball, but the runner was safe at first after Judkins pulled his foot. Lytle then stole second base, giving the Jayhawks had two outs and a runner on second. McGraw then walked Macias, but forced a ground ball to third for the final out of the game.
The Jays finished the game with eight hits and four runs, commiting one defensive error, while the Jayhawks scored three runs on five hits and had two defensive errors. McGraw earned the win (1-0) with 1.2 innings pitched, one walk and one strikeout.
Creighton will be in action next when they travel to New Mexico this weekend for a four game series with the Lobos. Check in with www.gocreighton.com for all the latest on the Bluejay baseball team.