OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton used seven hits from the eight and nine hole hitters Chance Ross and Joey Bowens, and a career best eight strikeouts by Ty Blach, to shutout South Dakota State 6-0 in the home opener Friday afternoon. The Jays improve to 10-3 on the season, snapping a two game losing skid with the win, dropping SDSU to 3-6 on the season.
Creighton jumped on the board early, scoring two in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Anthony Bemboom singled up the middle, but was the caught stealing for the first time this season. Erik Mattingly walked before a Ross single advanced Mattingly to third. Ross took second on the attempt to throw out Mattingly at third. With two ous and a 3-2 count, Bowens doubled to right center field, driving in both runs and giving Creighton a 2-0 lead.
Blach was stellar through the first two innings, striking out four and forcing two groundouts to get the other two outs, with no batters reaching base. In the third, the Jackrabbits got their first baserunners, as Zach Briggs was walked and Billy Stitz hit a double, but Blach got out of the jam by forcing a fly out. The Jackrabbits would get a double in the next three innings straight, but Blach continued to work himself out of jams, forcing six fly balls (five to Bowens in center field) and striking out four others.
The Jays added a single run in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth before topping off the scoring with two in the bottom of the seventh. Nick Judkins led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homerun down the right field fence, his first as a Creighton Bluejay. In the bottom of the sixth, Ross knocked his third hit of the day, a single up the middle, and was followed by back to back singles by Bowens and Mutcheson, allowing Ross to score.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jimmy Swift led off with a single through the left side and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Trever Adams. Alex Staehely then knocked a double down the left field line, driving in his 11th RBI of the season on his team leading seventh double of the year. Brad McKewon singled to knock in the final Bluejay run of the day, leaving the Jays ahead 6-0 after seven.
Kurt Spomer came in for relief for the Jays, pitching 2.0 innings and allowing just one hit, while striking out one. Blach finished the game with 7.0 innings pitched, six hits and eight strikeouts, while not allowing a run. He improves to 4-0 on the season, lowering his ERA to 1.69. Alex Oberle takes the loss for the Jackrabbits, pitching 5.1 innings and giving up 11 hits and four runs while striking out none of the 28 batters faced.
Bowens led the Jays offense on the day with four hits, while Ross had three hits and two runs scored. The Jays had a season high 15 hits in the game, walking twice and striking out just three times. South Dakota State had seven hits on the day, striking out nine times and reaching with a walk just once.
Creighton and South Dakota State will meet in game two of the series tomorrow at 2:00 pm at the CU Sports Complex. Check into www.gocreighton.com for all the latest on your favorite Bluejay teams.
Quick Hits: Creighton is now 10-3 on the young season, the best start in Ed Servais' eight year tenure... Joey Bowens went four for four on the day with a double and three singles. Bowens came into the game just one for eleven on the season. It is Bowens' fourth double of his career, while he drove in his fifth and sixth RBI of his Bluejay career... Jimmy Swift reached base four of five times today. He had two hits, a walk and was hit by a pitch for an on base percentage of .800. He now is in second on the team with a .424 on base percentage... Ty Blach threw a career high eight strike outs in Friday's win, just five days after fanning seven in the 5-2 win over Arkansas State on Sunday... Creighton is now 7-1 on opening day under Ed Servais, and 9-1 in the last 10 seasons.