Little Rock, Ark. — Behind a three-RBI day from senior Jack Strunc and a critical outfield assist from junior Will Robertson, the Creighton Baseball team collected head coach Ed Servais‘ 700th career victory with a 10-8 win over Little Rock on Friday, Feb. 15 in the season opening game for both teams.
The Bluejays got off to a fast start with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Junior Isaac Collinsopened the game with a leadoff single, then junior Parker Upton drew a seven pitch walk to put runners at first and second. One out later Strunc laced an RBI double to left, then junior Jake Holton plated Upton with a sacrifice fly to right center.
Little Rock got on the scoreboard in the second with a solo home run off the bat of Ryan Benavidez to make it 2-1. The Trojans seized the lead at 3-2 in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs on three hits and an error.
The Bluejays patience at the plate paid off in a big way in the fifth as Creighton plated four runs on three walks and two hits. Sophomore Will Hanafan and Collins worked walks to ignite the frame. Upton executed a flawless sacrifice, then the Trojans choose to intentionally walk to junior Will Robertson. Strunce made Little Rock pay with a two-run double to put Creighton up 4-3. Before the frame closed the Bluejays plated two more, scoring on a wild pitch and and RBI double from junior Jordan Hovey,
The Bluejays added single runs in the sixth and the seventh, scoring on two errors in the sixth and an RBI single from sophomore Garrett Gilbert in the seventh.
After Bluejay starter Mitch Ragan was lifted to enter the seventh, Little Rock jumped on the opportunity as the first five Trojans reached. Servais managed the damage bringing in junior Justin Wick for the first out. Junior Mitch Boyer induced a fly out to right for the second out, then Robertson fired a laser to the plate to complete the inning-ending double play. The result left the Bluejays up 8-7 with two innings coming.
The momentum from Robertson’s throw catapulted the Bluejays to two more runs in the eight as Creighton captured the 10-8 win.
Ragan earned the win, limiting the Trojans to three runs on six hits in six innings of work. Senior Bobby Kametas worked a perfect ninth for his first save of the season. Between five Bluejay hurlers Creighton notched 10 strikeouts in the game.
Strunc closed the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Hovey posted a 2-for-3 days with two RBI.
The two squads resume their three-game series on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2:00 pm (CT). Senior Denson Hull heads to the mound for Creighton.