CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A strong showing on the mound led the Creighton
Baseball team to a 4-2 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock in the Jays' opening
game of the Riverview Inn Classic on Friday, March 8.
The victory lifted Creighton to 5-2 on the season, while Arkansas-Little Rock
(UALR) fell to 9-5 overall.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Bluejays responded
with two runs in the bottom of the third. Senior Jordan Makovicka was hit
by a pitch to open the Jays' frame. He moved up two bases on wild pitches
and scored on a two-out single up the middle by junior Federico
Castagnini. The next batter, sophomore Jake Peter, reached on an infield
single and Castagnini took third on an errant throw. Finally junior Mike
Gerber laced an RBI double to right to drive home Castagnini and give Creighton
a 2-1 edge.
UALR squared the game at 2-2 on two hits in the top of the fourth, but
Creighton came right back in its next trip to the plate. Freshman Reagan
Fowler opened the Bluejay fourth with a single up the middle, moved to second
on a sacrifice by senior Brennan Murphy. Makovicka sent Fowler to third
on a double to center. Finally sophomore Kevin Lamb drove in Fowler with
a sacrifice fly.
The Jays added some insurance in the fifth as Fowler plated Castagnini with
a bases loaded sacrifice fly to left center.
The two run cushion proved to be more than enough for the Bluejay bullpen as
freshman Nick Highberger and senior Mark Winkelmann allowed just one hit over
the final four innings to secure a Jays' win.
Freshman Tommy Strunc moved to 2-0 on the season, allowing two runs on four
hits and three walks in five innings. He also recorded a season-best
eight strikeouts. Winkelman retired the final five hitters to record his first
save of the season.
Arkansas-Little Rock's Chance Cleveland fell to 2-2, surrendering four runs
(three earned) on six hits in 4.1 innings.
Creighton returns to the diamond on Saturday, March 9 as the Jays battle
tournament host, Austin Peay, at 3:30 p.m.