In what could be the final game for Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Jays were eliminated from the MVC Tournament by Wichita State 11-4 Wednesday afternoon in Normal, Illinois.
Creighton fell to 30-18 while Wichita State moved to 35-26. The Shockers advanced to play in another elimination game on Thursday against the loser of Wednesday's late game between Indiana State and Southern Illinois.
Wichita State got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Creighton starter Austin Groth (2-2) yielded five hits to the first six batters. The lone out recorded by Groth came on a dazzling diving catch in center by Mike Gerber. Taylor Elman stopped the damage with a strikeout and a caught stealing double play to end the inning.
The Jays scratched across a run in the second on an infield single by Reagan Fowler and a two-out RBI single from Jordan Makovicka. A solo home run by Shocker first baseman Casey Gillaspie pushed it to 4-1 and Wichita State tacked on another in the third to extend its lead to 5-1.
Creighton answered back quickly with two runs in the top of the fourth. Alex Staehely opened the inning with a Texas leaguer to left. Fowler followed with an RBI triple to right center before Kevin Lamb drove home Fowler with a single to cut the deficit to 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Shockers put up two more on a long ball from designated hitter Johnny Coy. Coy's blast also plated Gillaspie, who drew a two-out walk.
The two-time defending MVC Tournament Champions refused to go down without a fight. Gerber opened the top of the sixth with his fifth home run of the year. Wichita State, however, continued to put runs on the board. The Shockers put up two more in the sixth to make it a 9-4 game entering the top of the seventh.
Wichita State's AJ Ladwig earned the win (5-5), holding Creighton to four runs on 10 hits in a complete game. Groth allowed three run on five hits in just one-third of an inning.