Baseball Claims Dramatic Win Over Rutgers, 3-2 in 11 Innings
OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton Baseball team stretched its home win streak to nine with a 3-2, 11-inning victory over Rutgers on Saturday, April 27 in the TD Ameritrade Classic at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Creighton (24-9) tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a single by sophomore Jake Peter, then won it in the 11th on a single by freshman Reagan Fowler . Junior Brad McKewon scored all three of Creighton's runs on the night. Teams had been 83-1 in the three-year history of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha when leading after eight innings prior to Creighton's comeback.
The Scarlet Knights (20-21) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth as Matt Tietz and Nick Favatella delivered back-to-back RBI doubles to chase Creighton starter, senior Nick Musec.
The Bluejays scratched across a run without the benefit a hit in the sixth thanks to two walks, a Rutgers error and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch from senior Michael Blatchford.
Creighton's rally in the ninth inning was started by sophomore Kevin Lamb's one-out walk. He would be forced at second on a fielder's choice by McKewon. McKewon moved into scoring position on a walk to junior Federico Castagnini, and the Bluejay leadoff hitter then used his speed to score all the way from second on an infield single by Peter. Rutgers shortstop Pat Sweeney knocked down Peter's hot shot, but McKewon never hesitated and scored as Sweeney's throw escaped the clutches of catcher Jeff Mellilo on what would have been a close play at the plate.
After a scoreless 10th, the Jays called on Peter to escape a jam in the top of the 11th. Peter came on with a man on second and one out, then struck out both men he faced.
In the home half of the 11th, McKewon singled to center and moved to second on a Castagnini bunt. After an intentional walk to Peter and fly ball for the second out, Fowler turned on a ball and ripped it past Charlie Law and down the first base line as McKewon scored without a throw.
McKewon and Peter each had two hits of the Jays' six on the night against four Rutgers pitchers. The Jays drew a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record 12 walks on the night, but were just 2-for-20 with runners on base before Fowler's game-winner. The Jays used five pitchers, including 6.2 scoreless from a bullpen that included freshman Will Bamesberger, freshman Nick Highberger, junior Bryan Sova (a career-high 3.2) and Peter.
Rutgers had 10 hits on the night, including two each from Law and Brian O'Grady, but finished 3-for-17 with runners on base. The Scarlet Knights got a strong performance from normal closer Rob Corsi (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 SO) in his first start of the season, but ultimately could not hold on to the lead without his services. Jon Young blew the save in the ninth inning, while Nathaniel Roe pitched the last two innings and surrendered the winning tally to fall to 1-2 on the season.
Creighton and Rutgers will each wrap up play in the TD Ameritrade Classic on Sunday, April 28th as the Scarlet Knights face Nebraska at 1:05 p.m., while the Bluejays close out the tournament against Oklahoma State at 5:05 p.m.
NOTES: The only other time a team had rallied from a deficit entering the ninth inning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha had been on April 28, 2012. Creighton trailed 5-4 entering the ninth inning vs. Illinois State, only to win 6-5 in 15 innings. That contest was also Creighton's last walk-off win as well as the last time the Jays were in extra innings ... Castagnini went 0-for-1 with three walks and two sacrifice hits, but his 11-game hit streak was snapped ...Creighton had been 0-9 this season when trailing after eight innings ...Creighton improved to 5-1 in extra-inning games at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha ... Fowler's extended his season-long reached base safely streak to 29.