-- Facing the defending national champions in an elimination game the Creighton Bluejay accepted the challenge, delivering a 4-1 win over Oregon State on Saturday, June 1.
With the win the Bluejays moved to 39-12 on the season, while Oregon State closed the season at 36-20-1.
After two scoreless frames to kick off the afternoon, junior Isaac Collins made a statement by hammering his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall. Working deep into the count for the second straight time in the contest, Collins blasted the seventh pitch of his at-bat for a no doubt home run for Creighton's first run of the NCAA Tournament.
Out to a 1-0 edge, the Bluejay team took in new life at the plate. With one down in the inning, junior Jake Holton singled through the left side, then junior Will Robertson was hit by a pitch. A back-pick attempt to first resulted in an error, moving Holton and Robertson to second and third. Moments later senior Jack Strunc lifted a single to center to plate Holton. Strunc's single was bobbled in center field, allowing Robertson to race home as well to make it 3-0.
Oregon State got on the board in the fourth as Beau Phillip drew a walk, then Zak Taylor laced a double to left field. With one down, the Beavers scored on a sac fly down the left field line as Collins raced for the over the shoulder catch in foul territory.
The Bluejays added an insurance run in the seventh on a double from Robertson, a short single from Strunc and an error on a pickoff attempt to third.
Bluejay starter Evan Johnson limited the damage to one runs on three hits and five walks in 5.1 innings to collect the win (9-2), while junior reliever John Sakowski closed the door with 3.2 frames of one-hit relief.
Oregon State starter Grant Gambrell took the loss (5-3), allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks in 4.1 innings.
Creighton continues action in the Corvallis Regional on Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 pm (CT) against either Michigan or Cincinnati; those two teams are currently battling in the winner's bracket.