TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - On a gloomy and windy night in Terre Haute, the Bluejays used home runs to pick up win number 24 on the season, defeating Indiana State with the help of two home runs by Anthony Bemboom and a solo shot by Jimmy Swift. The Jays (24-7, 3-1) put up three runs in the ninth to defeat the Sycamores (19-13, 2-2) 4-0 on Friday night. Creighton picked up the shut out for the sixth time this season, first in conference play.
The Sycamores picked up three hits, one in each of the first three innings, but Creighton starter Ty Blach and the Bluejay defense did not allow a runner to get past second base. Blach did struggle with a little bit of control issues in the first three, throwing two wild pitches, allowing Koby Kraemer and Lucas Hileman to advance to second on two of the three singles. In the third the Sycamores threatened, as Robby Ort sent a ball out to the warning track with a runner on second, but Joey Bowens was there to make the play, leaving the score at 0-0 after three.
After struggling in the first four innings, picking up just two hits and striking out four times, the Jays got on the board first, scoring in the fifth inning. Bluejay catcher Anthony Bemboom stepped to the plate, driving the first pitch over the left field fence for his third home run of the season. Chance Ross then picked up the fourth hit of the day for the Jays, the first time either team had picked up more than one hit in an inning. The Jays would advance Ross to second with a sacrifice bunt by Bowens, but a strike out would end the inning for the Jays, taking the 1-0 lead.
Blach continued to baffle the Sycamores through the heart of the game, the middle three innings, giving up just two hits and stranding each of those runners on base. Blach's first three up, three down inning came in the sixth, when he struck out the leadoff batter and forced fly-outs to both left field and right. The Bluejay starter did aid to the Sycamores runners, moving three of the five batters to second via two passed balls and one balk.
The two teams continued to put up zeros through seventh inning, with both starting pitchers staying on the mound. The Jays looked like they would threaten to put up another run in the top of the eighth, adding what would have been an important insurance run in the one-run game. After a leadoff strike out, Jordan Makovicka picked up a pinch hit walk, reaching base for the seventh time in the last seven appearances. Makovicka advanced to second on a passed ball, moving into scoring position with just one out. The Sycamores wouldn't allow the run to score, however, turning a double play to end the inning. After Judkins hit a ground ball to the short stop, the Sycamores got the out at first and caught Makovicka out, as he was trying to advance all the way to the plate.
Blach continued to pitch well into the eighth inning when he ran into a little trouble, giving up a single, a sacrifice bunt and a walk to put runners on first and second. The Jays went to the bullpen, bringing in Kurt Spomer, who has pitched shut out baseball in his last six outings. In a turn of events, Spomer caught a line drive right back at him, getting his glove on the ball and catching the screamer right by his left hip. He then jogged over to first, picking up the double play and ending the threat. Blach finished the game with 7.1 innings pitched, his longest outing of the season, giving up six hits, no runs, walking two and striking out five.
The Bluejays exploded offensively in the top of the ninth, putting up three runs on three hits, including the two home runs. Swift led off the inning with a solo shot over left field, a rocket that left in a hurry. Adams then stood in and ripped a double down the line and was advanced to third on a Staehely sacrifice. Bemboom then stood in and ripped his second home run of the night, a shot over the right field fence.
Spomer picked up his fourth save of the season, third in MVC play, by striking out the lead off batter in the ninth and forcing a ground ball double play to end the game.
The Bluejays were led on the day by Adams and Bemboom with two hits each, Bemboom scoring two runs and driving in three RBI. Creighton had eight hits, walking three times and striking out nine. The pitching staff finished the game with six K's, giving up just six hits and no runs.
The two teams will be back in action, weather pending, tomorrow. The first pitch is set for 1:00 pm Omaha time.
Quick Hits: Ty Blach threw two wild pitches in the first two innings, doubling his season average, as he came into the game with just two wild pitches on the year... Trever Adams' single in the top of the fourth inning extended his hit streak to 15 games. The last time a Bluejay had at least a 15 game streak was Robbie Knight, putting together 16 straight from 3/11-4/5/09... Anthony Bemboom has three hits in conference play so far, all three which were extra bases. In the second game against Illinois State, Bemboom picked up a double and then homerun twice on Friday, first to score the first run in the game on Friday and the second to give the Jays insurance runs in the ninth... The Jays are now 2-1 overall on the season when hitting two home runs in a game... Bemboom becomes the first Bluejay to hit two home runs in a game since Trever Adams did the same last season. The irony? Adams also ripped out two against Indiana State, his coming in the MVC Tournament... Only one other Valley game was played tonight (Evansville at Wichita State), as Illinois State at Bradley and Missouri State at Southern Illinois were both postponed due to weather delays... Creighton will look to become 5-1 in the first six Valley games for the sixth time under Ed Servais, with games tomorrow and Sunday.