CU Athletics Down 6-0 in the opening game on Sunday, the Creighton baseball team not only rallied to claim the first game 8-7, but went on to sweep Sunday's doubleheader as well as the series from Illinois State with a 7-3 win in the nightcap.
Following both wins on Sunday the Bluejays moved to 14-6 on the season, while Illinois State fell to 13-13.
After surrendering five runs in second, including a grand slam from Illinois State's Aidan Huggins, the Redbirds pushed their lead to 6-0 with a single run in the top of the third. Creighton answered with a single tally in the third, via a leadoff double from sophomore Garrett Gilbert and a sac fly from Will Robertson.
The Bluejay comeback continued in the fifth as junior Parker Upton reached on an infield single and junior Jake Holton blasted a two-run home run to left-center to make it 6-3.
Creighton pushed across four runs in the sixth to take the lead, getting four hits to open the frame. Senior Jack Strunc got things rolling with a bloop double along the left field line. A single from sophomore Evan Spry but runners at the corners, then Gilbert went the opposite way for an RBI single. Junior Will Hanafan plated Spry with a bunt single along the first base line to make it 6-5. After a walk to junior Isaac Collins loaded the bases, Upton worked a second walk to knot the game. Creighton seized the lead on as Roberton grounded into a double play.
Illinois State pulled even in the eighth with a solo home run from Joe Aeilts. The game remained tied into the 11th frame, when a Collins opened the inning with a double. After Upton pushed the winning run to third, Illinois State countered with consecutive intentional walks to fill the bags. The strategy backfired as senior Jordan Hovey worked the walk off walk to give the Bluejays the win.
Creighton reliever John Sakowski earned the win (2-0) with three flawless frame. Sakowski and junior Ben Dotzler combined to allow just one run on three hits in eight innings of work from the Bluejay bullpen.
Illinois State closer Jacob Gilmore took the loss, allowing one run on one hit and five walks in 1.1 innings.
Collins and Gilbert each finished with two hits in the opener, while Holton delivered two RBI.
Game Two - Box Score
Creighton 7, Illinois State 3
The series final saw Illinois State take the lead once more, plating one run on three singles in the third. This time the Bluejays answered quickly with four runs. Hanafan drew a one-out walk, then Collins and Upton slapped singles through the left side and to right field to tie the game at 1-1. With two down in the inning, Holton swatted his seventh home run of the season to left field, giving Creighton a 4-1 cushion.
The Bluejays cruised into the sixth inning behind starter Evan Johnson, but reliever Jonah Smith coaxed a bases loaded ground out to end the Redbirds comeback thoughts.
Johnson earned the win (3-0), allowing two runs on five hits in 5.2 frames, while Illinois State starter Mattt Walker took the loss (1-4) surrendering five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings.
Holton guided Creighton's offense in the second game with three hits and four RBI.
Creighton returns to the diamond on Wednesday, April 3 as Creighton faces off with local rival UNO at Werner Park, first pitch for the game is set for 6:35 pm.