The nationally-ranked Shockers got five shutout innings from starter Max Hutson, but No. 10 Oklahoma State pushed back and came ahead for a non-conference win in Wichita, 3-1. Creighton was a 9-2 winner against Nebraska, as the Bluejays and Huskers played in front of over 18,000 at Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the College World Series.
No. 10 Oklahoma State 3, No. 12 Wichita State 1
No. 12 Wichita State (43-17) got five shutout innngs from starter Max Hutson, but No. 10 Oklahoma State (38-13) came back in late innings to defeat the Shockers, 3-1.
The Shockers scored their sole run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Andy Dirks scorched one down the left field line and stole third as Derek Schermerhorn drew ball four. Damon Sublett singled through the right side, driving in Dirks to give WSU a 1-0 lead.
Hutson held the Cowboys scoreless through five innings of work and scattered six hits and two walks while striking out five.
Andy Womack struck out the side in the top of the sixth after relieving Hutson, who gave up a lead-off single. Womack came back struggling in the seventh, giving up a walk and a single to the first two batters. Noah Booth took over on the mound, striking out his first two, but giving up a double to the right-center gap, allowing two runs to score.
The Cowboys added an insurance run in the eighth after a lead-off walk to Matt Mangini. Jordy Mercer singled and Ryan Flavell bunted for a hit and collected an RBI.
Noah Krol struck out four and gave up two hits in the last two innings, but the damage had already been done, as Wichita State only managed one hit after the third inning.
Womack (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, tagged with two earned runs on one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.
Reliever Tyler Blanford (2-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts. Mercer earned his second save of the year, taking over in the eighth and striking out three of the six batters he faced.
No. 27 Creighton 9, Nebraska 2
Chris Gradoville had a two-run single and solo homer to lead Creighton (38-12) to a 9-2 win over Nebraska before 18,316 fans on Tuesday night in Omaha. The game was played at Rosenblatt Stadium exactly one month prior to the opening of the 2007 Men’s College World Series.
Creighton, ranked 27th in this week’s National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association poll, won its eighth straight game and won for the 19th time in its last 20 games. The strong stretch run includes two wins over its in-state rival from Lincoln. Barring a postseason rematch, Creighton also assured itself of winning the season series with NU for the first time since 1994.
Creighton scored first with an unearned run in the top of the first inning against Husker starter Matt Foust. Robbie Knight reached on a throwing error by NU third baseman Jeff Tezak. He would score when Andrew Small beat out an infield dribbler to third.
Nebraska answered in the bottom of the first inning. DJ Belfonte singled up the middle, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Mort. Andrew Brown then ripped a double to right-center that scored Belfonte.
CU put together a three-run flurry in the top of the second inning. Chad Ogden singled to right and raced to third on a hit-and-run single by Michael Lam. Ogden came home on a single by Knight, and both Lam and Knight scored on a two-run single from Gradoville.
Creigthon extended its lead to 5-1 in the top of the fourth against Husker reliever Charlie Shirek. Lam doubled down the line with one out and scored on a single by Knight.
NU scored once in the fourth but CU starter Casey Schmidt escaped a major jam. Jeff Tezak and Jake Opitz lined doubles to start the inning and draw the Huskers within 5-2. Andy Gerch then singled, putting runners at the corner with nobody out. Bryce Nimmo then hit a sharp smash to first baseman Darin Ruf. Ruf stepped on first, then threw down to second as Gerch was tagged out. Much to the dismay of NU head coach Mike Anderson, Opitz froze at third base and did not score on the play. He would be stranded one batter later when Nick Sullivan grounded out to Ruf to end the threat.
Gradoville homered with two out in the seventh inning, launching a blast five rows into the bleachers over the 375’ sign. That gave CU a 6-2 lead. The Jays added one run in the eighth and two more in the ninth on Small’s bases-loaded single.
Creighton, now 38-12, once again got strong bullpen work. Schmidt improved to 4-1, yielding just two runs in five innings of work. Scott Reese threw two scoreless frames, while Pat Venditte and Andy Masten each worked a scoreless inning to finish the game.
Nebraska fell to 27-22 with the loss. Foust dropped to 1-4 after giving up five hits and four runs in three innings.
Other Scores From Tuesday:
Kansas State 10, Illinois State 3
Evansville 13, Louisville 9
Iowa 5, UNI 4
Southern Illinois 5, Eastern Illinois 4
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