Creighton scored unearned runs in each of the first two innings en route to a 5-2 win Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Bluejay freshman Reagan Fowler had a big day offensively, finishing 3-for-4 and scoring twice while five Bluejay hurlers combined to slow a Pacific offense that has already earned wins against Arkansas, TCU and UNLV this spring.
CU drew first blood with an unearned tally in the first. Brad McKewon reached on a throwing error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Federico Castagnini and to third on a single by Jake Peter. McKewon would score on a squeeze bunt from Mike Gerber.
With one out and Fowler on second and Ryan Fitzgerald on first in the second inning, the Jays pulled off a double steal. Pacific catcher Jason Taasaas tried to cut down Fitzgerald at second, but his throw ended up in center field as Fowler trotted home to make it 2-0.
Pacific chased Creighton starter Brett Swain in the fourth inning. Dustin Torchio reached on an infield single with one out and moved to second on a walk to Erik Lockwood. Tyger Pederson followed with a sharp single to right that plated Torchio and ended Swain's day. Taylor Elman came on to pitch with two on and one out and promptly induced a double play ball to escape the threat with CU's lead at 2-1.
Brennan Murphy's RBI triple highlighted a two-run fourth inning for Creighton, his laser to the gap in right-center scoring Fowler. Murphy scampered home moments later on a wild pitch by Tiger starter Michael Benson (2-1) to make it a 4-1 game.
Pacific scored one run in the seventh inning. With one out, Taasaas hit a tailor-made double-play ball, but it scooted through the legs of Bluejay shortstop Alex Staehely. Taylor Murphy made CU pay for the error, delivering a single to right to score Lockwood. Mark Winkelman escaped further damage when Jacob Goulder lined into a double play that saw Brennan Murphy double-up Taasaas at second.
The Jays added an insurance run in the eighth inning as Kevin Lamb's sacrifice fly drove home Staehely.
Winkelman (2-0) was credited with the win as he tossed three innings of scoreless relief. Swain started with 3.1 innings of one-run ball, giving way to Elman. After Winkelman brought the Jays to the eighth, freshman Nick Highberger threw a scoreless eighth to lower his season ERA to 0.84. Finally, Peter came on in the ninth to provide a flawless inning for his second save of the season.
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