DAVIS, Calif. - In a back and forth game on Friday afternoon, the first ever meeting between the Bluejays and the UC Davis Aggies, the Creighton Bluejays used 12 hits, including four in the top of the eighth inning, to earn 7-6 win.
The Bluejays improve to 4-2 on the season, while the Aggies are now 5-4. Leading Creighton offensively on the day was sophomore Brad McKewon, who finished four-for-five from the plate in his third start of the season.
After the Bluejays stranded Chance Ross on third in the top half of the first inning, UC Davis took advantage of a wild start by Ty Blach. The southpaw hit a pair of batters, and surrendered four hits while allowing three runs in the opening frame.
UCD's starting pitcher, Dayne Quist, baffled the Bluejay hitters through the first three innings. Quist had five strikeouts and allowed just one hit in the first three innings of play. The Bluejays turned things around in the top of the fourth, when they scored two runs on one hit and one Aggie error.
Erik Mattingly led things off with a stand-up double, landing a pop up just inside the left-field line, out of range for the Aggie defense. Mike Gerber then drew a seven-pitch walk, and both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Bemboom. Bemboom was also safe at first when Quist bobbled the pick up.
With the bases loaded, Brennan Murphy drove a ball into left center, scoring Mattingly and advancing Gerber to third. Gerber then scored when Quist bounced a ball in front of home that jumped over the Aggie catcher and to the backstop. A strikeout ended the inning, with the Aggies still leading 3-2.
Creighton evened the game at three-all in the top of the sixth. Mattingly again reached base to start the inning, getting hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a Gerber sacrifice bunt. Bemboom then singled through the right side, advancing Mattingly to third and putting runners on the corners. After Murphy struck out swinging, Brad McKewon blooped a ball into center, scoring the game tying run from third.
Blach buckled down through the middle innings, blanking the Aggies through the sixth inning. Blach allowed just four batters through the next five innings, striking out one and retiring the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
Creighton put another run on the board in the top of the seventh, highlighted by three-straight singles from the top of the lineup. Ross, Judkins and Staehely each singled, as the Bluejays took the lead with their fourth straight unanswered run.
Blach lasted into the seventh inning, recording the first out of the seventh before the Bluejays went to the bull pen, bringing in Chase Webb. The Aggies welcomed Webb by regaining the lead, scoring two runs on two hits off the right-hander in the bottom half of the seventh and forcing the Bluejays to turn to Mark Winkelman. A wild pitch put a pair of Aggie runners in scoring position and a sacrifice fly to right put UC Davis up 6-4 after seven complete.
But the Bluejays weren't done offensively, regaining the lead in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, McKewon singled on a bunt before Jake Peter unleashed on a ball to center, landing at the bottom of the 410 foot fence in straight away center. With both runners in scoring position, Ross doubled down the left field line to even the game at 6-6 again. With the seventh run, Ross scored when Judkins singled to center.
Reese McGraw came on the in the bottom of the eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced in order (two via strikeout) before doing the same in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
The two teams will play the second of the three-game series tomorrow, Saturday, with the first pitch set for 3:00 pm Central Time. Brandon Koenigstein is scheduled to take the mound against Anthony Kupbens for the Aggies.
NOTES: Ty Blach pegged a pair of UC Davis batters in the first inning, just the second time in his career he has hit two batters in the same game. The southpaw also hit a pair at Oregon State in the NCAA Tournament last season (6/4/11) ... Blach surrendered the most runs in a single outing for the southpaw on the season, giving up three in his 6.1 innings of work ... Chase Webb finished the day without recording an out, allowing three earned runs on three hits and walking a batter ... Brad McKewon led the Bluejays offensively on Friday, picking up a career-high four hits and a run driven in ... Chance Ross and Nick Judkins each had a pair of hits for the day, as the Bluejays finished with 12 hits ... Creighton had a season-high 12 hits on Friday, as they had previously had picked up 11 hits in two games this season, at Central Arkansas and at Portland ... It also marks the third time on the season the Jays have stranded 10 runners on base.