Tigers Rally Comes Up Short Against Creighton
Pacific's bats woke up late, but a five-run second inning by Creighton was too much to overcome as the Tigers fell in game one of a three-game set to the Bluejays, 11-9, Friday at Klein Family Field. Junior 3B Dustin Torchio posted a pair of doubles and drove in four runs while senior SS Josh Simmswas four-for-five with a double and two RBI.
Trailing 7-1 after six, Pacific tallied four runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and two in the ninth as they tallied 12 of their 14 hits in the game after the sixth inning.
Sophomore 2B Riley Drongesen went three-for-five with his fifth double of the year, while C Jason Taasaasfinished two-for-four.
After Creighton posted five in the second inning on two walks on three hits, including two-run singles by Anthony Bemboom and Nick Judkins, Bluejays starter Ty Blach carried a 5-0 lead through the fourth.
Michael Benson (1-2) takes the loss for Pacific (2-12), walking five batters and allowing three hits and five earned runs in two innings of work.
Pacific scored a run in the fifth, as C Jason Taasaas singled to center, redshirt freshman 1B Erik Lockwoodsingled through the right side, and Simms doubled to deep right field. But Blach posted two strikeouts to escape further damage and stand the bases loaded.
Creighton expanded their lead in the sixth against LHP Joe Spizzirri, who entered with no one out in the third and left a pair of inherited runners stranded. After a walk and a sacrifice, Bemboom doubled to left to plate Jake Peter, and Judkins singled up the middle to make it 7-1 Bluejays.
Peter tripled home Mike Gerber in the seventh to stretch the lead to 8-1, before the Tigers bats came alive.
Blach retired the first two batters via groundout, but the next seven-straight Tigers reached. Simms singled to the hole in short, freshman CF Tyler Sullivan reached on error, and Torchio doubled to right to plate them both. After Mark Winkelman replaced Blach, sophomore DH Curtis Gomez reached on a fielder's choice with no out recorded. Senior RF Allen Riley doubled to right field to bring home Torchio, and Creighton went to the bullpen again. Kurt Spomer entered and sophomore 2B Riley Drongesen singled to short to bring home Gomez and make it 8-5. Taasaas walked to load the bases before Spomer ended the inning with a groundout.
Creighton picked up three in the top of the eighth, as Judkins singled and went to third on a passed ball. The Tigers intentionally walked the next batter with one out, and RHP Mike Hager posted a strikeout for the second out of the frame. But Gerber's bloop behind third base couldn't be corralled, allowing a run to score. Alex Staehely doubled home two as the Bluejays led 11-5.
In the Tigers half of the eighth, Simms singled to right and after Sullivan walked, Torchio doubled home two by pulling a first-pitch fastball to the right field wall. RHP Reese McGraw entered for Creighton and got a pair of outs to end the threat.
Pacific RHP Byrce Lombardi tossed a scoreless ninth and the Tigers mounted a final charge. Drongesen doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning, and after a groundout, LF Brett Christopher posted an RBI single. Simms delivered a two-out RBI single to cut it to 11-9, but McGraw's 3-2 pitch to Sullivan was called strike three to end the ballgame.
Blach (2-0) picked up the win for Creighton, going 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and one walk. He allowed one earned run on seven hits.
Spizzirri tossed five innings of long relief, allowing three earned while striking out five.
Creighton improves to 6-5. Game two from Klein Family Field is set for a 2 p.m. first pitch.