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Freshman Tommy Strunc
Courtesy: Mike Spomer

Freshman Tommy Strunc Shines as Baseball Downs Pacific, 7-2

OMAHA, Neb. -- Tommy Strunc's first home start at Creighton was one to remember, as the redshirt freshman threw 7.1 innings of three-hit baseball to help the Bluejays to a 7-2 win over Pacific on Friday, March 15 before 2,246 fans at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

Creighton (9-3) won its fourth straight game, and first this season at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Pacific fell to 5-11 with its third straight setback.

Creighton scored in the top of the first inning. Junior Federico Castagnini was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by sophomore Jake Peter. A walk to jnuior  Mike Gerber loaded the bases for senior Alex Staehely to drive home Castagnini with a sacrifice fly.

Castagnini would coax a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the second inning, plating freshman Reagan Fowler, to make it 2-0. Peter followed with a rare three-run single. With the bases loaded and on the move in a full-count, two-out situation, Peter's single up the middle ricocheted off second base and deflected into left-center, allowing Castagnini to motor home all the way from first to make it 5-0.

Creighton went ahead 7-0 against reliever Jake Jenkins with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Staehely and Fowler singled to put runners at the corners with no outs, and Staehely scored on a squeeze bunt by senior Brennan Murphy. Fowler later went to third on a passed ball and came to the plate via a sacrifice fly from senior Jordan Makovicka.

Strunc struck out the final three men he faced in the seventh inning and the lead-off man in the eighth before finally running out of gas. He allowed consecutive walks before surrendering a two-run double in the gap to pinch-hitter Brett Sullivan to close his outing. Matt Warren escaped the jam and closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Peter led Creighton's offense with a 4-for-5 night to go with three RBI. Fowler went 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Castagnini also scored two times. Strunc threw a career-long 7.1 innings while striking out eight for a second straight outing to improve to 3-0.

Pacific's Mike Hager dropped to 0-2, allowing six hits and five runs in 4.0 innings of work. He was the first of five pitchers on the night for the Tigers. Pacific's offense finished with three hits, two of which came from Curtis Gomez.

The Bluejays and Tigers continue their series on Saturday in a 2 pm game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
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