OMAHA, Neb. — Dylan Tebrake threw seven shutout innings and Creighton’s offense pounded five doubles in a 9-2 win against visiting Villanova on Friday night in the BIG EAST opener for both squads.
Creighton (7-7, 1-0 BIG EAST) improved to 19-1 all-time against Villanova (12-3, 0-1 BIG EAST) with its 18th straight victory in the series. The Wildcats had won 12 games in a row — their longest streak since a 16-game stretch in 1989 — and entered the weekend second nationally in the RPI before suffering its most lopsided loss the season.
Sterling Hayes and Alan Roden each doubled in both the third and fourth innings, combining for six RBI as the Bluejays raced to an 8-0 lead. David Webel opened the third inning with an eight pitch walk after falling behind in the count 0-2. Andrew Meggs followed with a hit-and-run single and both men scored one out later on a double into the right field corner off the bat of Roden. With two away, Hayes doubled to left to plate Roden and put CU ahead 3-0.
Wegner singled to open the home half of the fourth frame, then wheeled around to third when David Vilches’ sacrifice bunt was thrown away by the Nova catcher. Webel’s single brought home Wegner to make it 4-0 and Roden broke open a close game with a two-out double to score Webel. After a walk to Ryan Mantle loaded the bases, Hayes ripped a double down the left field line to push the lead to 8-0.
CU made it 9-0 in the fifth inning when Jared Wegner singled and scored on a two-out throwing error, which ended Graceffo’s night. Graceffo (3-1) had allowed just four runs in 30.2 innings of work entering the contest and only nine total runs in 56 innings since the start of the 2019 campaign, before surrendering 10 hits and nine runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings of work snap a seven-game winning streak.
Villanova’s lone scoring came with two outs in the top of the eighth inning when reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week Ryan Toohers homered with Chris Rotondo on base to thwart CU’s shutout bid.
Tebrake (3-0) lowered his ERA to 4.23 while throwing a season-high seven scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits, two walks and hit one batter while striking out four Wildcats in his 113 pitch effort.
Five Bluejays finished with two hits each. In addition to Roden and Hayes, Wegner, Webel and Meggs each had a pair of base knocks. Webel, Roden and Wegner also scored twice each and the Bluejays turned in their seventh errorless game of the young season.
The Bluejays and Wildcats are scheduled to resume their series on Saturday at 1 p.m. Central from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.