Creighton Claims Big East Regular Season Title
The Creighton Baseball team won its third BIG EAST title since 2014 with an 8-2 win over visiting Villanova on Saturday, May 18.
Needing a win add to the BIG EAST trophies won in 2014 and 2017, Creighton scored in each of the first three innings and never trailed while matching the 2005 squad for the best mark in program history after 46 games.
The regular-season title gives Creighton the top seed in next week's BIG EAST Championship, Presented by Jeep, that will be hosted in Mason, Ohio. Play begins on May 23rd, with Creighton taking on fourth-seeded Seton Hall at 1:30 p.m. Central. The Bluejays defeated the Pirates by scores of 5-1, 11-1 and 3-1 in mid-April and are 5-0 all-time against SHU at the BIG EAST Championship.
Junior Parker Upton started the scoring for Creighton when he singled and later advanced to third on a wild pitch by Villanova starter Jonathan Rosero. Both he and junior Jake Holton would score on a two-out double by senior Jack Strunc.
Creighton took a 3-0 lead in the second inning after sophomore Will Hanafan reached via a two-out throwing error. He would move to third on a single by junior Isaac Collins and score on Rosero's third wild pitch of the day and 15th of the season.
The Bluejays tacked on a fourth run when Holton walked to open the third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Strunc.
Senior Evan Johnson improved to 8-2 on the year with six shutout innings, striking out seven and surrendering just three hits and a walk in a 99 pitch effort. He lowered his ERA to 2.96 while winning his third straight start.
Villanova's (13-38, 4-13 BIG EAST) initial run came in the top of the seventh, when Will Reiner singled with two outs and scored on John Heilenbach's double to right-center.
The Bluejays answered Villanova's run with four of their own in the home half of the seventh inning against Wildcat hurler Cameron Mathes. Singles by Upton and Holton put men at the corners with nobody out, and Upton made it 5-1 when he scored on Robertson's fielders choice. Robertson scored on senior Jordan Hovey's eighth double of the year, and Hovey scored on the first triple of the season by sophomore catcher David Vilches. Freshman Andrew Meggs greeted Jason Aplegate by plating Vilches on a sinking liner to left for CU's final tally.
The Wildcats got an RBI groundout from Nick Lorusso in the eighth inning to account for the game's final run.
Bobby Kametas came on in the ninth inning to wrap up Creighton's fifth straight victory, and 10th in its last 11 games.