CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Creighton baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader at Southern Illinois on Saturday, falling 4-0 in game one before dropping game two 7-6. Creighton falls to 15-19 overall, 2-9 in MVC play.
In game one, Ty Blach put together his best performance in Missouri Valley Conference play this season, finishing with 7.1 innings of work, tying a season-high with nine strikeouts while allowing three earned runs.
The game started as a pitcher’s duel, with both Blach and SIU’s No. 1 Cody Forsythe putting up scoreless frames through the first four innings. After allowing a leadoff single to right field to start the game, Blach retired 11 of the next 12 batters, allowing just a two-out walk in the third inning. Blach also picked up a pair of strikeouts through four.
While the Bluejays put a runner on base in each of the first four innings, Forsythe was just as dominant on the mound, surrendering three hits through the first four innings, but not allowing a single runner past second base.
A hiccup in the fifth inning gave SIU a pair of runs, their first two of the game. A leadoff walk surrendered to Jordan Sivertsen was followed by an error on an attempted sacrifice putting runners on first and second. The pair both moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before a wild pitch on a strikeout pushed across the first run of the game. A single through the right side put SIU up 2-0.
A solo home run off the bat of Brian Bajer in the seventh and a single run in the bottom of the eighth off Bluejay reliever Andrew Urban gave the Salukis a pair of insurance runs.
Anthony Bemboom’s one-out double in the top of the ninth appeared like it would give the Bluejays a rally to end the game, but a pair of fly balls ended the frame, stranding the sixth runner of the game for Creighton.
Creighton was outhit 6-5 in game one, with five different Bluejays picking up a single hit each.
The Salukis got on the board first in game two as well, putting up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a strikeout to open the frame, Erik Mattingly surrendered a walk that was followed with a triple from Brock Harding, scoring Jordan Sivertsen. A passed ball then allowed Harding to score, giving SIU the 2-0 lead.
Creighton answered in the top of the third, taking their first lead on their first runs of the weekend. With one out, Jordan Makovicka walked and scored on a Chance Ross double to left center. A Brennan Murphy walk put a pair of runners on base, both scoring on a Bemboom single to center field. Creighton led 3-2 after three.
After a scoreless fourth, Ross singled to left field to lead off the fifth inning. An errant throw on a Murphy bunt single allowed Ross to score, followed by Murphy scoring on a wild pitch. Creighton went up 5-2.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as SIU put up a three spot on one hit, taking advantage of two walks and a hit batter to even the game, 5-5.
A Jordan Makovicka double to lead off the Creighton 7th would end up giving Creighton its final lead of the game. Makovicka was pushed across thanks to a sacrifice bunt and fielder’s choice, putting Creighton up 6-5 after six and a half innings complete.
SIU scored the final two runs of the game, a single tally in the eighth inning and the game-winning run on a walk-off hit by Jake Welch that put SIU up 7-6.
The two teams will play the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch from Abe Martin Field set for 1:00 pm. The Bluejays will look to avoid their first sweep against the Salukis since 1998, when the two teams played a four-game series in Carbondale.
NOTES: Cody Forsythe threw his first complete game of the season, allowing five hits and striking out five Bluejays in the game … The Creighton batters flew into a season-high 18 outs in game one, including seven on the infield … Anthony Bemboom’s one-out double in the ninth inning marked the lone extra base hit of the game for Creighton … Alex Staehely’s 13-game reaching base safely streak came to an end in game one when he was held hitless … Jordan Makovicka made his first start of the 2012 season in game two, starting in left field and hitting in the nine hole … He finished game two with one hit and two runs scored … Mattingly pitched ahead for the first time in any of his starts this season, when Creighton went ahead in the third inning … Creighton out-hit SIU 10-7 in game two, led by Chance Ross’ three hits. Brennan Murphy and Anthony Bemboom each added a pair of hits for the Jays.