Friday Baseball Recaps (Apr. 16)
Saturday, April 17, 2010

Creighton snapped its four-game losing skid en route to a 7-5 victory over Bradley, halting the Braves season-best four-game winning streak.  Indiana State posted its first shutout win of the season, a 2-0 decision over visiting Wichita State, handing the Shockers back-to-back MVC losses for the first time in 2010.  Illinois State continued its winning ways in league play, posting a 6-5 walk-off victory over Southern Illinois, as the Redbirds improved to 6-1 in Valley play.  In the lone non-conference matchup of the night, Evansville held off Arkansas State, 5-4.

CU (15-12, 4-6 MVC); BU (10-18, 3-7 MVC)

PEORIA, Ill. -
For one inning, Creighton's two-out deficiencies from last week were remedied. The Jays used a four-run, two-out rally in the second, and weathered a Bradley rally in the ninth, for a 7-5 victory Friday evening at O'Brien Field.

Trever Adams led a 12-hit Creighton charge, as he posted his seventh game with multiple hits and RBI, with a 3-for-5, three RBI night. Jonas Dufek (5-1) had one of his better outings, allowing just two runs with two strikeouts in seven innings of work.

Elliot Soto, T.J. Roemmich and Scott Thornburg all had two hits, as the Jays also took advantage of three Bradley errors that led to five unearned runs.

The first of those Bradley (10-18, 3-7 MVC) errors proved to be the costliest. After an errant throw from Brave third baseman Rob Elliot to start the second inning, the Jays scored four runs with two out. RBI-singles from Alex Staehely and Soto, set up Adams's two-run double down the left field line to make it a 5-1 game.

With Creighton holding a comfortable lead for much of the game, the Braves made a charge against Jack VanLeur in the ninth. A walk and a single to start the ninth set up a three-run homer by David Compitello to make it a 7-5 ball game.

After VanLeur got the next two outs, Matt Fritz singled and Elliot walked to bring the winning run to the plate in the form of three-hole hitter Brian Martin. VanLeur came out on top, however, getting Martin to foul out to first to preserve the win.

The middle of the Bradley order was held without a hit, as the three, four and five hitters in the Brave order went a combined 0-for-9.

Adams gave the Jays the lead in the first, as his single up the middle brought home Soto. Bradley was quick to tie it up, as Fritz led-off Bradley's first with a solo shot that snuck just inside the left field foul pole.

The Braves ended Dufek's run of 5.2 scoreless innings, as two singles and a sac bunt led to a Kevin Sullivan sacrifice fly to deep center to cut the Jay lead to three at 5-2.

Creighton extended its lead with two important runs in the top of the ninth. Roemmich singled with one out, and Scott Thornburg brought him home with a double down the right field line. After the second out, an Ian Dike popup in the infield was dropped by Elliot, scoring Thornburg for the all-important seventh CU run.

Bradley and Creighton will be in action on Saturday back at O'Brien Field. First pitch will be at 6 p.m.

INS (22-9, 4-3 MVC); WSU (21-12, 7-3 MVC)

For the second straight game, the Indiana State University baseball team allowed just three hits to their opponents en route to winning a game. On Wednesday, seven Sycamores combined for a three-hitter, but on Friday night junior Jacob Petricka did it all, tossing eight innings on the mound to defeat the Wichita State University Shockers, 2-0, at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium in front of 514 fans.

Petricka was dominant from the opening inning on Friday, throwing 118 pitches and striking out nine WSU batters, with just three hits allowed and four walks. Freshman closer Tyler Browning entered in the ninth inning and sealed the Sycamore victory by striking out the side in the final frame for his sixth save of the season.

Wichita State starter Jordan Cooper also pitched well, allowing nine ISU hits and two runs while tossing all eight innings in a complete-game loss.

The Sycamores (22-9, 4-3 MVC) broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning on a pair of two-out hits. Senior Ryan Strausborger began the rally with a two-out single through the right side of the infield, extending his season-high hit streak to 16 games. Strausborger would steal second base while on the bases and move to third when Cooper's delivery to the plate would get away from WSU catcher Chris O'Brien. Sophomore Kyle Burnam broke the scoreless tie by beating out a single to the Shocker third baseman Nate Goro.

Indiana State tallied its only other run of the game in the following inning for a 2-0 lead. Freshman Jake Hartley laced a pitch into the left-center field gap for a triple with one-out and would score when senior Tyler Graham hit ISU's 27th sacrifice fly of the season to left field.

The Shockers (21-12, 7-3 MVC) threatened in the eighth inning, loading the bases with two outs before Petricka forced a lineout to Strausborger to end the rally and the inning.

Hartley, fellow freshman Robby Ort and senior Grant Grgurich all tallied two hits at the plate for the Sycamores, with Burnam and Graham both picking up RBIs. Strausborger tallied a steal in the fifth inning for his 24th steal of the season, his eighth straight game with a stolen base.

The Sycamores and Shockers play the second game of their series on Saturday, with senior Joe Rodriguez (3-1, 4.91 ERA) facing off against Tim Kelley (5-1, 4.25 ERA).

ILS (16-15, 6-1 MVC); SIU (16-18, 5-5 MVC)

NORMAL, Ill. -
Anthony Ruffolo drove in Kevin Tokarski with a single to centerfield in the bottom of the ninth inning to help Illinois State walk-off with a 6-5, series-opening win against Southern Illinois at Duffy Bass Field Friday. The win is the Redbirds' fourth-consecutive win in Missouri Valley Conference play.   

Ruffolo went 2-for-5 at the plate and hit one of Illinois State's season-high-tying four home runs in the game, but it was his base knock over Chris Murphy's head with one out in the top of the ninth that provided the difference. It was Illinois State's (16-15, 6-1 MVC) first walk-off hit of the season. Jake Thornton was 2-for-4 in the contest, and hit his first career home run in a four-run first inning for Illinois State. Zach Amrein was also 2-for-4, with both of his hits going for home runs. 

Southern Illinois' Tyler Bullock homered down the left field line with two outs and a man on to give the Salukis (16-18, 5-5 MVC) a 2-0 lead after the first inning. It was the first of two home runs in the game for Bullock who finished the contest with four RBI after hitting another two-run shot in the fifth. 

Illinois State responded with three long balls of its own in the bottom half of the first, with Thornton and Ruffolo leaving the yard in back-to-back at bats. Amrein added the third home run of the inning off Southern Illinois starter Bryant George. All eight of the game's first runs were scored via home runs.

Each team scored single runs in the sixth inning - ISU's run off a solo shot by Amrein - but the bats were mostly silent until the bottom of the ninth. Southern Illinois reliever Kellen Candau walked Tokarski to lead off the inning and Matt Mirabal singled through the left side after a failed attempt to sacrifice the runner over. Thornton struck out swinging after another failed attempt to bunt the runners over against new Saluki pitcher Ryan Bradley, but Ruffolo delivered the game-winning hit in the next at bat.

Mirabal and Chad Hinshaw joined the three Redbird home run hitters with two hits each. Tokarski knocked his league-leading 18th double of the season in the first inning, walked three times and scored twice. Mirabal threw out Murphy as he tried to steal in the first inning, the only attempted theft in the game. Kenny Long earned the win for Illinois State after striking out two in 1.1 perfect innings of relief.

Aaron Roberts led Southern Illinois with three hits, followed by Bullock (2) and Blake Pinnon (2). Chris Serritella scored on both of Bullock's home runs, and was 1-for-3 with two walks.

The series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m. with Illinois State's Brad Sorkin (3-1, 2.73) expected to start against Nathan Forer (1-2, 0.89).

Other Non-Conference Scores Around the Valley:
Evansville 5, Arkansas State 4