The Creighton baseball team used a seven-run second inning to pull away from the Utah Valley Wolverines and pick up its ninth victory of the season on Sunday.
Senior catcher Kevin Lamb went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs and junior first baseman Reagan Fowler finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs as the Bluejays defeated Utah Valley 11-3.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second, Lamb lifted the first pitch he saw from Logan Hold into left-center field to clear the bases and give the Jays an early 3-0 lead.
Lamb entered Sunday with only two hits in 30 at bats, but the senior doubled his season total with a two-double performance.
“I’ve been in a lot of situations to help my team out this year and I haven’t got it done so far,” Lamb said. “And it felt good to get the job done for these guys today.”
Creighton (9-7) coach Ed Servais believed Lamb’s base-loaded double was the biggest hit of Sunday’s game.
“It really relaxed everybody for the rest of the game,” Servais said.
Sophomore shortstop Nicky Lopez delivered an infield single to plate Lamb and Fowler placed a two-RBI triple into the right-field corner before junior designated hitter Harrison Crawford laced a single past the Wolverine shortstop to plate the first baseman from third base for the seventh run of the inning.
Creighton finished with 15 hits and each of the starters scored at least once during Sunday’s contest.
The Bluejays also tallied seven hits in 17 at bats with runners in scoring position.
“[We have] to trust what we’ve been taught by coaches and just go up there and put good swings on [the ball].” Fowler said. “We did that with a lot of good hits today.”
The back-end of the Creighton bullpen, freshman Ethan DeCaster and sophomore David Gerber, allowed only one Utah Valley hit in the final three innings.
The pair combined for three strikeouts and no walks.
The other five Bluejays’ to appear on Sunday walked eight batters over six innings.
“Hopefully [the other pitchers] learn from guys like Ethan and Dave who throw it over the plate and take chances,” Servais said. “They don’t get a lot of strikeouts, but they get a lot of ground balls and we can make plays.”
Lamb agreed that DeCaster and Gerber are key parts to the pitching staff.
“They didn’t travel the first two weeks and now they are the ones we are relying on,” Lamb said. “We feel comfortable with them out there because they put the work in.”
Utah Valley took advantage of two walks in the top of the third inning to plate a pair of runs. Mark Krueger launched a one-out double over Daniel Woodrow’s head in centerfield to cut Creighton’s early lead to five.
Junior Tommy Strunc started his second game of the season for the Jays. Strunc retired the Wolverines in order in the first, but walked a pair in the second inning with two outs and walked two more in the third frame.
“He got seven outs for us and hopefully next time he goes out there he can build off on that and we can get him back where he is more comfortable and throw four, five or six innings,” Servais said.
The Jays return to action on Tuesday night against South Dakota State. First pitch at TD Ameritrade Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.