PHOENIX, Ariz. - The baseball team got its first win of the season Sunday afternoon in Phoenix, Ariz., against Notre Dame, as the team won 6-3.
The Bluejays got the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, thanks to a lost ball in the sun by Notre Dame rightfielder Brayden Ashburn, to take a 4-3 lead on the double by Nick Becker, scoring Darin Ruf.
Creighton would tack on two runs in the ninth with two outs as Ruf singled to left field, bring in Robbie Knight and Vicente Cafaro for his eighth and ninth RBI of the year to make it a 6-3 lead for Bluejay closer Kirk Clark heading into the bottom of the ninth. Clark struck out two of the three hitters he faced for his first career save.
Matt Patterson (1-0) picked up the win for the Bluejays. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit.
Creighton got runners on early in the first inning, as a Vicente Cafaro single and Robbie Knight hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with just one out. Unfortunately, as has been for much of the season, the Jays were not able to push any runs across after Darin Ruf struck out looking and T.J. Roemmich grounded to first.
The Bluejays got a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as freshman Scott Thornburg hit his second home run of the year on a hanging curve ball from Notre Dame starter Eric Maust.
CU starter Greg Hellhake got himself out of a jam in the third inning as he surrendered a leadoff double to Irish third baseman Mick Doyle. Hellhake then induced three straight ground balls to prevent Doyle from scoring, keeping the Creighton advantage at 1-0 after three.
Roemmich led off the Creighton fourth inning with a triple to center on the first pitch. He came home after Jimmy Swift singled to center, making it a 2-0 CU lead.
The Jays threatened to increase their lead in the fifth as a Cafaro double and Knight single put runners on first and third with one out. Ruf then lined to the Notre Dame second baseman Ryan Intlekofer who made a leaping grab before throwing to first baseman Casey Martin to double off Knight, and end the inning.
Notre Dame inched closer in the bottom of the fifth as runners were on first and second with two outs. A single to center by shortstop Greg Sherry made it 2-1 Creighton heading into the 6th.
The Irish grabbed the lead in the bottom of the sixth as consensus All-American A.J. Pollock hit a two-run home run to left off Hellhake, giving Notre Dame a 3-2 advantage.
The Bluejays tied it up in the top of the seventh as Elliot Soto hit a one-out double to left. Knight brought him in with a single to center, making it a 3-3 contest.
Hellhake finished the day going 5.1 innings allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
The team will return to action on Tuesday March 3, in Manhattan, Kan., to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. First pitch is slated for 3:00.
NOTES: Vicente Cafaro got his first hit of the season in the top of the first on a single to right...Coming into the game he was 0-22...Cafaro finished the day 3-5...Knight's hit-by-pitch in the first was his first of the year...He now has 60 HBP for his career, which is 14th all-time in NCAA history...Ian Dike had his first carer sacrifice bunt in the top of the fourth inning...It took Hellhake just 33 pitches to get through the first four innings...Nick Becker's pinch hit appearance in the top of the sixth was the first of his career...The Bluejays' 16 hits were its most since Chicago State on March 16, 2008...Before the ninth inning Sunday, the largest lead Creighton had held in any game was two runs...Robbie Knight went 4-4, one hit shy of his career-high.