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Creighton rallies past Jacks, 6-5

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 04/15/2012 17:27:37
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OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and went on to defeat South Dakota State, 6-5, in a back-and-forth game Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.

The Bluejays improved to 15-17 overall, while SDSU dropped to 11-19-1 as the two squads split their two games over the weekend.

SDSU took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as four consecutive batters reached safely. With one out, Aaron Machbitz and Daniel Marra hit back-to-back singles before Zach Rhodes walked to load the bases. Zach Briggs then delivered a base hit to left field to score Machbitz, but Bluejay starter Ty Blach was able to prevent further damage by retiring the next two Jackrabbit hitters.

Creighton tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Mike Gerber in the home half of the second, then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Gerber's two-run double.

The Jackrabbits rallied to take a 4-3 advantage with three runs in the top of the seventh. The Jackrabbit loaded the bases against Webb before Andrew Phelan greeted reliever Liska with a two-run single to left field that scored Rhodes and pinch runner Eric Danforth. With two outs, Eric Cain delivered Daniel Telford with the go-ahead run with a single through the right side.

Creighton knotted the game in the bottom of the seventh as Brad McKewon scored on a wild pitch, but SDSU reliever Austin Busse worked out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the score tied at 4.

SDSU took advantage of a Bluejay error to regain the lead in the top of the eighth. Daniel Marra reached on a error to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice, took third on a passed ball and scored on Danforth's infield single.

The Jackrabbit lead was short-lived, however, as Gerber opened the home half of the eighth with his second double of the game. Michael Mutcheson followed with a single to center to move Gerber to third, and Gerber later scored the tying run on a groundout with Mutcheson - who stole second earlier in the at-bat, moving to third. Busse retired the next hitter on a groundout, but Mutcheson scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

SDSU put the tying run 90 feet away in the top of the ninth. With one out, Phelan legged out a double on a ball hit to left-center field and moved to third on a groundout. The rally ended when Bluejay closer Reese McGraw struck out Eric Cain to end the game.

Phelan was the lone Jackrabbit with more than one hit, going 2-for-4. Gerber and Anthony Bemboom each posted two hits for Creighton. Hits were even at nine per team.

The Jackrabbits received a solid start from freshman Adam Bray, who struck out six and walked two in 5 1/3 innings. Bray allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in the contest.

SDSU returns to home action Tuesday, hosting North Dakota State in a non-conference game. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Erv Huether Field.

SDSU     010         000         310         5-9-1
CU          010         200         12X         6-9-1
SDSU: Adam Bray, J.D. Moore (6), Austin Busse (7) and Zach Briggs, Nick Andrews. CU: Ty Blach, Shane Liska (6), Chase Webb (7), Kurt Spomer (8), Reese McGraw (9) and Anthony Bemboom.
W-Spomer (1-0). L-Busse (2-2). Save-McGraw (4).
HR: none.