Indianapolis, Ind. — Down 5-2 heading into the eighth inning, the Bluejay bats rallied to seize the lead and went on to earn an 8-7 win in 10-innings in Creighton’s BIG EAST opening game on Friday, April 12.
The win lifted the Bluejays to 18-7 on the season and 1-0 in BIG EAST play, while Butler fell to 17-14 overall and 1-3 in conference action.
Creighton scratched the scoring column first with a run in the second as junior Jake Holton singled to right, then senior Jack Strunc was hit by a pitch and senior Jordan Hovey reached on a bunt single to load the bases. A sac fly from freshman Jared Wegner put Creighton up 1-0.
Butler answered with a pair of runs in the third on an RBI double from James Gargano and an RBI ground out by Harrison Freed.
The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 3-1 on an RBI single from Kyle Smith.
Hovey revived Creighton’s offense with a solo home run to rigth field, connecting for his sixth round tripper of the season. Butler, however, responded with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs’ tallies on an RBI single from Freed and Andy Bennett to make it 5-2.
Facing reliever Jack Myers to open the eighth, the Bluejay offense plated four runs on five hits and a walk. Junior Will Robertson got things started with a solo home run to right. One out later Strunc laced a double to left-center, then with two down Wegner brought the Bluejays within a run at 5-4 by slashing an RBI single up the middle. Following a walk to catcher Garrett Gilbert, sophomore Will Hanafan knotted the game with an RBI single to right. Finally junior Isaac Collins connected on an RBI single to right to give Creighton a 6-5 edge.
Creighton added an insurance run in the ninth, turning a Holton single a wild pitch and a passed ball into a 7-5 edge.
Bluejay closer Bobby Kametas came into the game with two Bulldogs for the final out of the eighth, but was touched for a game-tying two-run home run in the ninth by Harrison Freed.
The Creighton offense responded immediately in the top of the 10th with a one-out single from Hanafan and an RBI double from Collins. Kametas returned to the bump with an 8-7 advantage and promptly set the Bulldogs down in order.
Kametas picked up the win (2-0), allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. Butler’s Kevin Napoleon took the loss (1-1) allowing one run on two hits and two walks in an inning of work.
Holton led the Creighton offense with three hits and two runs scored. Seniors Collins and Hovey each finished with two hits, yet the key late game spark came from Wegner and Hanafan.
Creighton and Butler will conclude the series on Saturday as the two sides play a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm (CT).