Omaha, Neb. — Down 3-1 early a three-run rally in the third, senior Ryan Mantle’s go ahead home run sparked Creighton Baseball to an 11-4 win on Sunday, May 2.
With the win the Bluejays moved to 17-9 on the season and 9-2 in BIG EAST action, while St. John’s fell to 14-15 overall and 5-10 in conference play. Sunday’s victory gave Creighton the series win as well, the Bluejays have taken each of their first three BIG EAST series.
After trading runs in the first, St. John’s plated a pair of runs
The Red Storm surged ahead once more with a pair of runs in the second, getting a two-run single from Brian Morrell.
Creighton answered in the third with a trio of runs to claim its first lead. Sophomore Andrew Meggs opened the Bluejay third with his second walk of the contest. Creighton’s second basemen took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fly out and scored on another wild pitch to make it a 3-2 contest. Senior Parker Upton extended the inning, reaching on an infield single and Mantle blasted his fifth home run of the season to right to give Creighton a 4-3 edge.
Following a leadoff single by Marty Higgins for St. John’s in the fourth, Upton delivered on the defensive end. Red Storm shortstop Chris Conniff singled to right, but Upton cut down Higgins trying to go to third. The outfield assist was Creighton’s first of the season and ended the Red Storm momentum.
The Bluejays took complete control with five runs in the fourth, taking advantage of three walks, a hit batter and a pair of two-run singles. Freshmen Alan Roden and Nolan Clifford delivered the two-run knocks, while Creighton’s fifth run of the frame scored on a wild pitch.
St. John’s pushed across it’s fourth run via an RBI single from Morrell in the sixth inning, while Creighton added single tallies in the seventh and eighth innings.
Due to time constraints the game was ended after one pitch in the ninth inning.
Bluejay reliever Paul Bergstrom picked up the win (1-0) with four innings of scoreless relief.
St. John’s starter Tyler Roche took the loss (0-2), allowing four runs on three hits and four walks in 2.2 innings. Four Red Storm pitchers combined to give up 10 walks, four wild pitches and a hit batter.
At the plate Mantle finished 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Roden delivered three RBI.
Creighton returns to the diamond next weekend for a four-game series at Butler. The first game is set to begin on Friday, May 7 at 3:00 pm.