LONGVIEW, Wash. - A late rally by the Creighton baseball team on Sunday wouldn't be enough, as Creighton fell to Portland 5-3. A double off the bat of Erik Mattingly, followed by an infield single by Alex Staehely scored a single run in the ninth, but a ground out would end the threat with a runner on base.
The Bluejays fall to 3-2 on the season after dropping both games against Portland, despite outhitting UP 18-12 on the weekend. The Pilots improve to 5-0 for the second straight season.
For the first time this season, the Bluejays allowed the opponents to score first, as the Pilots put up three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Putting the Pilots on the board first was Caleb Whalen, who ripped his second home run of the season over the left center field fence. After a seven-pitch walk to Bo Cornish, Kris Kauppila pulled one straight down the left field line and into the party deck, a two run shot to put UP up 3-0 after two innings.
After a 46 minute rain delay, Creighton brought in Mark Winkelman to pitch and the Pilots continued their hot-hitting. After Winkelman struck out the first batter he faced, Turner Gill singled on the infield, beating out the throw with a head first dive into first. Brian Frattali then pulled a ball down the left field line, again going into the deck in left field. A ground out followed by a double to right center forced the Jays to bring in Chase Webb, who struck out Bo Cornish in three pitches.
The Bluejays bats came alive after the rain delay, as they Jays pushed across a run in the top of the 6th. UP brought on Chris Johnson to pitch following the delay, and the Jays picked the lock right away. Alex Staehely picked up Creighton's third hit of the game (Chance Ross singled in the first and Scott Thornburg had a double in the fourth), driving a double into left center. Nick Judkins advanced Staehely to third with an infield ground out, before Thornburg picked up his second double of the game, scoring Staehely. A line-drive doubleplay ended Creighton's threats in the top of the 6th, still trailing 5-1.
Creighton added another run in the top of the eighth inning, taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch to Judkins to lead off the inning. After a strikeout, Gerber drove a ball into the right center gap, dropped by Portland's right fielder, putting Judkins and Gerber on third and second, respectively. A deep fly ball to center scored Judkins before another fly ball ended the inning.
The two teams used a combined 11 pitchers on the day, five by the Jays and six from the the Pilots staff. Creighton used Koenigstein (3.1 IP), Nick Musec (0.2), Winkelman (0.2), Webb (2.1) and McGraw (1.0). It marks the most pitchers the Bluejays have put on the mound in a game this season.
Creighton will be in action next when they travel to California next week for eight games. The Jays start off the trip with a three-game series at UC Davis, before midweek games at California and Sacramento State, and then finish the weekend at Pacific.
NOTES: The two teams had a 46 minute delay, due to rain, in the middle of the fifth inning ... Creighton had a handful of games adjusted by rain last year, started by the canceled games at Arkansas State and Central Arkansas on the spring break trip. The Bluejays then had the opening game at Evansville delayed a day and the MVC Tournament games ... Sunday marked the first time in the last two seasons a game has been put in a rain delay and then play continued ... Travis Radke was stellar in the opening three innings of play, allowing a leadoff single to Nick Judkins before retiring the next nine batters straight, including five strikeouts... Brandon Koenigstein threw 71 pitches in his second start of the season, taking six batters to a 3-2 count ... Scott Thornburg's two doubles marked the first time a Bluejay has accomplished the feat this season, as Jimmy Swift had a pair of doubles in the same inning against Bradley last year (5/1/11) ... Chase Webb again had a solid outing on the mound, allowing just one hit and striking out two in 2.1 scoreless innings of work ... David B. Story Field is the home of the Lower Columbia College Red Devils, as well as the Cowlitz Black Bears summer team, part of the West Coast League. It features a party deck down left field, a hitting barn in straight away center, a kids playground down right field and wood bleachers down the third base line. The left field fence is 306, right field is 326 and straight away center is 387.