OMAHA, Neb. - Jonas Dufek's eight-inning performance and home runs by Jimmy Swift and Trever Adams along with a 3-for-3 night for Joey Bowens led Creighton to their 30th win of the season (30-10, 8-3), defeating Bradley 10-1 on Saturday night. The Jays now hold sole possession of first place in the Valley. The win on Saturday also gave Ed Servais his 284th win at the helm of the Bluejays, moving him into second place on the all-time charts. The loss drops the Braves below .500, with a 20-21 record and 2-9 in the MVC.
After a three-up, three-down first inning for both teams, the Bluejays put up three in the bottom of the second inning, highlighted by Adams' solo home run to lead off the frame. His league leading 12th home run of the season marked his fifth in MVC play, a line drive shot over the left center field fence. Alex Staehely then hit his first double of the series, pulling it into the left field corner. A sacrifice bunt by Anthony Bemboom moved Staehely to third before Chance Ross flew out to right field, driving in his second RBI of the weekend, 13th on the season, with a sacrifice fly.
The Bluejays scored one more run in the frame, thanks to back-to-back hits by Scott Thornburg and Bowens. Thornburg ripped a double into left field, sliding in safely to second and just beating the throw. Bowens then knocked one back up the middle to score Thornburg from second. The run put the Jays up 3-0 after two innings.
Bradley got back one of the three in the top of the third of Creighton starter Jonas Dufek, who hadn't allowed a runner past ssecond all night. James Kottaras knocked a single to right field and advanced to second when Adams slipped on the outfield pitch and the ball scooted past. A sacrifice bunt moved Kottaras to third before a single to left field by Jason Leblebijian scored the first, and only, run of the game for the Braves.
Another scoreless inning passed before the Bluejays added to their lead, posting single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Bowens and Michael Mutcheson led off the fifth with back-to-back walks that drove Bradley's starting pitcher, Tony Doerr off the mound and brought in Nick Gross from the pen. Gross was met with two Bluejay sacrifices, first a sacrifice bunt by Judkins (his Valley leading 15th) and then a sacrifice fly by Swift to drive in Bowens.
In the sixth, Bemboom picked up a one out walk and advanced to second on an errant throw by Jerrod Eigsti, who was trying to double off Bemboom after catching a line drive off Ross's bat. Thornburg then ripped his second double of the game, lodging one under the 375 marker on the left center field fence. Bowens stepped in and drove a ball back up the middle, his second single of the game. Thornburg was thrown out at the plate to end the scoring threat.
Dufek continued strong through the night, allowing just one earned run in his eight innings of work. The only batter to get past second on Dufek was the single run in the third inning. He shut down the Braves in order in the first, fourth and sixth innings, allowing just a walk and a single in the seventh and eighth and then putting down BU in order to close each frame. The outing is the second longest on the season for the senior right-hander, who threw a complete game in the 1-0 win over Valparaiso earlier this season. He moves to 7-1 on the season with the win.
Creighton put up five more runs in the bottom of the eighth, stringing together five hits in the inning, highlighted by Swift's two-run home run to put the Jays up 10-1. An inning lead-off single by Bemboom, a walk by Thornburg and then a Bowens double strung down the left field line plated one and put runners on second and third. After a sacrifice fly by Mutcheson scored Thornburg, Judkins picked up his first hit of the night, a single through the right side that scored Bowens. Swift then ripped his second home run of the season, a two-run shot into the Creighton bullpen.
Mark Winkelman came in for the Jays in the top of the ninth, retiring the Braves in order. Creighton finished the night with 13 hits, led by Bowens' 3-for-3 night and Adams' 3-for-5 outing. Thornburg also picked up two doubles on the night and scored two runs.
The two teams will play the final game of the three game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:00 pm from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Left-hander Greg Hellhake will get the nod for the Jays while John Nasshan, a right hander, will toe the rubber for the Braves.
Quick Hits: Creighton's eight and nine-hole batters (tonight it was Thornburg and Bowens) each had at least two hits, the first time those two spots in the line-up have both had two hits since March 16, when the Jays played Air Force... Jonas Dufek picked up his seventh win a day after Ty Blach earned his seventh win of the season. It is the first time since 2008 that Creighton has had two pitchers with 7+ wins in a season. (Pat Venditte and Jeremy Hauer)... Trever Adams hit his league leading 12th home run in the game on Saturday, in addition to a two singles. It is the 10th game this season the senior has put together three or more hits... Adams has now reached safely in 24 straight games... Adams had 12 home runs all of last season, and has reached the plateau already this season... Joey Bowens went 3-for-3 in the 10-1 win, the first time in his career he has had three hits in a single night (had four in a game but never three)... The 10-runs the Jays scored is a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record and the 5-run 8th inning is the most runs scored in a single inning by any team... The win moves Ed Servais to 284-159 while at Creighton, moving him into second most wins as a head coach. Jim Hendry, who sits atop the Bluejay records, has 289 wins... Creighton is now leading the standings in the MVC with their 8-3 record, 1.5 games ahead of both WSU and SIU in the standings.