LIttle Rock, Ark. — Four scoreless innings of relief from junior Jonah Smith provided time for a game-tying home run in the ninth by junior Will Robertsonas well as the game-winning RBI in the 11th as Creighton baseball swept Liltte Rock with a 12-10 win in 11-innings on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The victory pushed the Bluejays to 3-0 on the season, while the Trojans fell to 0-3.
Trailing 10-9 to open the ninth inning, Robertson blasted a 2-2 pitch off the scoreboard in right-center field to knot the game.
Coming on in the eight inning, Smith retired the first six men he faced to get the Bluejays to the tenth. After Creighton’s offense went down in order in the top of the frame, Smith worked out a bases loaded no out jam to keep the game alive. After the Trojans loaded the bags with a walk, a hit batter and a single to right, Smith got a ground ball to first to force the man at the plate. Moments later he made the play of the night, fielding a grounder towards first and turning to gun down another Trojan runner at the dish. Finally Smith posted a backwards K to close the frame in style!
The momentum carried to the plate for Creighton as junior Parker Upton was hit by a pitch, then Robertson launched an RBI double to left-center. Later in the inning junior Jake Holton provided some insurance with a solo home run to put the Bluejays up 12-10.
Smith went back to work in the 11th, working around a single and a hit batter to preserve his first win (1-0) of the season. Little Rock reliever Nick Perez took the loss (0-1), facing Upton and Robertson in the 11th.
Early in the contest Creighton took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run double from senior Jack Strunc. The Bluejays tacked on a run in the third, then scored two in the fifth via an RBI double from freshman Jared Wegner and an error.
Little Rock got a single run in the second, two in the third and three in the fifth to lead 6-5 heading to the sixth.
Senior Jordan Hovey leveled the game with a solo home run to right, but the Trojans surged back in front with a run in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Creighton set the stage for the dramatic finish with three runs in the top of the eight as Holton walked, Hovey reached on a fielder’s choice and Wegner drew another free pass to load the bases. An RBI ground out by pinch hitter Evan Spry made it 10-7, then sophomore Garrett Gilbert lifted a sac fly and junior Isaac Collins lined an RBI single to center to make it 10-9.
Robertson led the offense with three hits and two RBI, while Strunc finished 2-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Creighton returns to the diamond on Friday, Feb, 22 as the Bluejays begin a four-game mini tournament with Texas State and McNeese State in Lake Charles, La.