WICHITA, Kan. - Timely hitting and fundamental baseball led the Bluejay Baseball team to a 3-1 win over Wichita State on Saturday, May 11.
The win gave Creighton its first series victory over the Shockers in Wichita since 2003. The Bluejays also moved to 28-13 overall and 11-6 in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play. Wichita State, meanwhile, fell to 30-24 on the season and 14-6 in MVC action.
Creighton broke out on top in the top of the fifth with an unearned run. With two down in the frame junior Jerry Mitchell lined a single to left-center, then junior Brad McKewon chased him to third with a single to right-center. Junior Federico Castagnini grounded a ball to short that was misplayed, allowing Mitchell to score the go-ahead run.
The Jays added two more runs in the sixth. Senior Alex Staehely drew a leadoff walk to get things going, then freshman Reagan Fowler moved Staehely to second with a nicely placed sacrifice bunt. The Shockers chose to intentionally walk senior Brennan Murphy, then senior Michael Blatchford bounced out to third. Staehley and Murphy both moved up 90 feet on Blatchford's grounder.
The two managers took center stage at this point as Wichita State's Gene Stephenson called Aaron LaBrie from the bullpen, causing Creighton's Ed Servais to bring sophomore Landon Lucansky on as a pinch hitter.
Lucansky delivered just the second pinch-hit of the season for the Jays, lining an RBI grounder off the glove of Shocker third baseman Tanner Kirk to make it 2-0. Mitchell followed with an RBI single into right to boost the Jays' lead to 3-0.
Wichita State got a run back in the bottom of the sixth via a sacrifice fly from Erik Harbutz, but Bluejay sophomore Mark Lukowski limited the damage. Lukowski entered the game with Shockers at second and third with nobody out, striking out the first batter he faced. Lukowski went on to induce Harbutz's fly out and a grounder to end the threat.
Lukowski went on to close out the final four innings for Creighton to earn his first save. Senior Nick Musec earned his second win (2-5) of the year, holding Wichita State to one run on two hits and six walks in five innings.
The Jays and Shockers will wrap up the three-game set on Sunday, May 12 at 1 p.m. Creighton sends freshman Austin Groth to the hill, while Wichita State counters with sophomore Garrett Brummett.