Baseball Holds off Pacific in 11-9 Win
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Creighton baseball team was out-hit 14-11 on the night, but the Bluejays put up a season high 11 runs en route to an 11-8 win over Pacific on Friday night. Ty Blach allowed two earned runs in 6.2 innings of work, tying a season high with six strikeouts.
The Bluejays improve to 6-5 on the season while the Tigers fall to 2-12. Blach picked up his second win, improving to 2-0 in his fourth start on the season.
Nick Judkins led all Bluejay batters with four hits on the night, setting a single game high for the senior. Anthony Bemboom added two hits, while both players had three RBI each, also setting single-game highs for each player, respectively.
The Bluejays got on the board first, pushing across five runs on three hits, and taking advantage of three walks issued, in the top of the second inning. Erik Mattingly walked to leadoff the inning and raced around the bases to score the first run when Mike Gerber doubled to the 317 foot left field fence.
A sacrifice bunt followed by a strike out put Gerber on third with two outs. Brennan Murphy and Chance Ross both walked to load the bases before Anthony Bemboom singled to center field, driving in both Gerber and Murphy. Nick Judkins then drove in another pair of runs, pulling a triple to the 385 foot right center gap. Creighton led 5-0 after an inning and a half.
Creighton's offense knocked Pacific starting pitcher Michael Benson in the top of the third inning after Benson walked a batter and hit one. Joe Spizzirri came in, allowing a sacrifice bunt but then induced a pair of strikeouts to get out of the inning unscathed.
Ty Blach was stellar on the mound, allowing just a pair of runners to reach base through the first four innings. The southpaw struck out three batters in the first four frames, forcing six ground balls and just walking one batter, who was tossed out from Anthony Bemboom to Alex Staehely trying to steal second base.
The Tigers did crack Blach's code in the bottom of the fifth inning, pushing across one run on three hits. A leadoff single to Jason Taasaas was followed by a single from Erik Lockwood and a double to right field by Josh Simms, scoring Taasaas and putting runners on second and third. A pair of Blach strike outs and a hit batter (Dustin Torchio), loaded the bases for the Tigers before Blach struck out Gomez swinging to leave the bases full of Tigers. Creighton led 5-1 after five innings.
Creighton answered the Pacific run with two tallies of their own in the top of the sixth inning. After picking up the seventh walk of the day for the Jays, Jake Peter advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Murphy. Bemboom then doubled off the left center fence, driving in Peter, before Judkins singled back up the middle, scoring Bemboom from second.
Another Bluejay run came across in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Gerber walked on four straight balls. Staehely reached on a fielder's choice, forcing Gerber out at second. A triple to the left center fence off Peter's bat on a 1-2 count scored Staehely from first. Creighton led 8-1 after seven and a half innings.
Blach pitched into the seventh inning, giving up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth before the Bluejays brought in Mark Winkelman. With two outs and a runner on second, Winkelman allowed a fielder's choice to Gomez before Riley singled to right field to drive in a run. The Bluejays then went to Kurt Spomer, who allowed an infield single, scoring another Tiger run. With the bases loaded, Spomer got Brett Christopher to ground out to first base to end the threat.
The Bluejays scored three in the top of the eighth inning, first scoring Judkins on a seeing-eye fly ball off the bat of Gerber that landed between the Tigers shortstop, thirdbaseman and left fielder. A Staehely double down the left field line scored both Thornburg and Gerber, giving Creighton the 11-5 lead.
Pacific pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off Spomer, before Creighton brought in Reese McGraw to shut down the Pacific offense in the eighth. The Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the ninth off McGraw, but stranded a runner on base to end the game.
Gerber and Staehely each finished the day with a pair of runs driven in, while Gerber joined Bemboom with two runs scored a piece.
Creighton and Pacific will play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon, with the first pitch slated for 4:00 pm Central Time.
NOTES: Chance Ross has now led off in all 11 games this seasons. He has reached base safely to start the game in the last four games straight, today with a walk ... Ty Blach started the first inning with three straight ground balls back to him on the mound. He didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the second inning, a single into centerfield. He also recorded his first strikeout in the bottom of the second ... Blach faced the minimum batters in four innings, thanks in part, to a pair of double plays and and Anthony Bemboom runner caught stealing ... Ross walked three times on Friday night, tying his career high, which was set last year in the NCAA Tournament game against Georgia (6/5/11) ... Creighton scored five runs in the top of the second inning, the most in a single inning since May 1, 2011, in the win over Bradley. The five runs are also more than the Jays have scored in six games this season ... Erik Mattingly led off four different innings in the game on Friday, hitting in the fifth hole ... Freshman Jake Peter picked up his first triple of his Bluejay career, driving in Alex Staehely in the top of the seventh inning ... Creighton used four pitchers in the Friday night game, but Ty Blach earned the win, his second of the season.