OMAHA, Neb. - For the first time this season, the Creighton baseball team dropped a weekend series, falling 2-1 to Southern Illinois on Sunday. The Jays (27-10, 6-3) plated just one run on six hits on the afternoon but stranded eight runners on base. SIU (15-24, 6-3) used another good outing from their starting pitcher (this time it was Brad Drust), striking out 10 Jays on the day.
After a Chance Ross single to lead off the home half of the first, the Creighton batters were retired in order through the third inning. Creighton batters put together a rally in the fourth inning picking up two hits in the frame. With one out, Jimmy Swift singled through the left side and was followed by a Trever Adams single to right center field, advancing Swift to third. Alex Staehely then picked up the first walk of the game for the Jays, putting a Bluejay on every base. Anthony Bemboom then hit into an inning ending double play, 4-6-3.
SIU had the same fortune through the first three frames, picking up just one hit (a double by Jake Welch in the third) and one walk (by Wes Neece, also in the third). SIU struck first, however, putting up two runs in the top of the fourth. With one out, Jordan Sivertson picked up a four pitch walk and scored on a triple pulled down the right field line by Nick Johnson. A sacrifice fly by Blake Pinnon gave the Salukis the 2-0 lead.
The Bluejays plated their only run in the sixth inning. Ross was hit by pitch to earn a free ticket to first and advanced to third on Swift's second single of the day, this time to right field. Staehely then ripped his 17th double of the season down the left field line, plating Ross and advancing Swift to third base. A ground out to the first baseman ended the inning for the Jays, stranding two runners in scoring position.
Creighton used two bull pen pitchers in the Sunday game, with both Jack VanLeur and Kurt Spomer seeing time on the mound. Neither pitcher gave up a run in their combined 2.1 innings, with SIU picking up just one hit on the bullpen.
The Jays stranded runners in both the seventh and eighth inning, not able to push across another run and change the outcome of the game. In the seventh, two SIU errors put runners on second and third, but a squeeze bunt right back to the pitcher forced an out at home and pop fly ended the inning with runners on first and second. Creighton had Swift on third with no outs in the eighth, but two pop outs and a groundout to third stranded the senior there.
Creighton's next game will be a non-conference match-up with Kansas on Tuesday. Creighton defeated the Jayhawks 4-3 in 11 innings earlier this season in Lawrence. The first pitch from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is set for 6:30 pm.
Quick Hits: Jack VanLeur pitched 1.1 innings on Sunday in his 100th career appearance as a Bluejay. The left hander joins Pat Venditte and Scott Reese as the only Jays with 100 appearances on the mound... Creighton batters struck out 32 times on the weekend, the most in a three game stretch this season. All three starting pitchers for the Salukis picked up career high numbers in strike outs in the three game series... Alex Staehely's double in the sixth inning was the first double for the second baseman since the April 3 win over Portland. He leads the team and Valley with 17 doubles.