The Creighton baseball team put together some late-inning heroics to take the first game of a doubleheader that it split with the Northwestern State Demons on Friday before inclement weather cut the weekend short.

Originally scheduled to play a game against Arkansas State between two games against Northwestern State over a three-day weekend, weather forced the Red Wolves to cancel. The elements also caused the Bluejays and Demons to eventually scratch their Sunday contest.

The Bluejays opened the weekend with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Demons in Louisiana.

After a 1-1 tie during the seventh inning, the Bluejays took the lead with their second unearned run of the game. After a bases-loaded fielder’s choice saw junior infielder Harrison Crawford thrown out at home, sophomore outfielder Daniel Woodrow sent a sacrifice fly to left field that scored junior infielder Tommy Clouthier.

Creighton stranded runners on second and third in the top of the seventh, the Demons rallied in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead. With runners on first and second, junior pitcher Nick Highberger got the double play that he needed to keep the damage to a minimum.

“We didn’t get challenged at (CSU) Bakersfield as far as having to come from behind,” coach Ed Servais said. “You’ve got to put your club in as many situations as possible at the beginning of the year to find out if they have the ability to come back.”

The Bluejays failed to have a base runner in the top of the eighth, and while the Demons threatened again with two hits in the bottom half, Highberger got out of the

inning unscathed.

Crawford led off the ninth with a hit-by-pitch and stole second. After Clouthier struck out, senior catcher Kevin Lamb singled to left to put runners on the corners with one out. Sophomore outfielder Kevin Connolly sent a sacrifice fly to center field that knotted the game at three.

The Demons failed to push a run across in the bottom of the inning, forcing extra innings.

Junior infielder Reagan Fowler led off the 10th with a double down the right-field line. He advanced to third off of a groundout from junior outfielder Brett Murray. Junior infielder Ryan Fitzgerald sent a fly ball to left field that scored Fowler for the go-ahead run.

Senior pitcher Max Ising took over in the bottom of the 10th and scattered a pair of two-out singles to pick up his first victory of the season.

“We need to win one-run games as we go through the rest of the season,” Servais said. “I liked their grit. I liked their competitiveness in the first game. That was a good situation for us to be in.”

Creighton suffered its first loss of the season in the second game of the doubleheader, falling 6-2 to the Demons.

Junior Matt Warren got the start on the mound, and allowed a run in each of the first three innings. He finished the day allowing three runs off of four hits while striking out two in four innings pitched.

Down 4-0 after six, the Bluejays once again looked to start a rally in the seventh inning. Fitzgerald walked and Crawford singled before freshman catcher Luke Horanski grounded out to put runners on second and third. A sacrifice fly from junior designated hitter Matt Gandy scored Fitzgerald to cut the deficit to three runs. Freshman outfielder Devlin Granberg picked up a pinch-hit double to left field to score Crawford. Despite cutting the deficit in half, the Jays stranded two runners in the inning.

The Demons tagged junior John Oltman for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to diminish the chance of a Bluejay comeback. Demon junior pitcher Chase Hymel did not allow a hit in the final 2 1/3 innings of the game.

Crawford recorded another two-hit game, contributing to his team-leading nine hits on the year to give him a .474 batting average through five games.

“Harrison has been a good surprise for us early,” Servais said. “Being a junior college player we had hope that Harrison would get off to a good start for us, and he did. He’s looking more confident each day.”

Creighton, now 4-1, will return to Louisiana this weekend for three games against the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans. Tulane is 6-1 on the year.

“Tulane will be the best team we’ve played up-to-date, and that’s not a put-down on the other guys,” Servais said.

Like the Bluejays, Tulane has an emphasis on pitching and defense, allowing fewer than three runs per game this season. The focus on offense, like the Bluejays as well, has been small ball.

“They do have good front-line pitching; they do have a good closer,” Servais said. “They play very much a traditional style offensively. Everybody thinks we bunt a lot, but they’ve got 15 already in their first seven games.”

In a game against Pepperdine on Feb. 14, the Green Wave trailed 5-0 heading into the eighth inning. Scoring four runs in the eighth and five in the ninth, the team unleashed a furious comeback to take a 9-5 win on the road.

“They have a new coach down there, and I’m sure they wanted to get off to a fast start, and that’s what they’ve done,” Servais said. “They’ve been in a lot of different scenarios too, so this will be our stiffest challenge.”

The Creighton baseball team put together some late-inning heroics to take the first game of a doubleheader that it split with the Northwestern State Demons on Friday before inclement weather cut the weekend short. 

Originally scheduled to play a game against Arkansas State between two games against Northwestern State over a three-day weekend, weather forced the Red Wolves to cancel. The elements also caused the Bluejays and Demons to eventually scratch their Sunday contest. 

The Bluejays opened the weekend with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Demons

in Louisiana. 

After a 1-1 tie during the seventh inning, the Bluejays took the lead with their second unearned run of the game. After a bases-loaded fielder’s choice saw junior infielder Harrison Crawford thrown out at home, sophomore outfielder Daniel Woodrow sent a sacrifice fly to left field that scored junior infielder

Tommy Clouthier. 

Creighton stranded runners on second and third in the top of the seventh, the Demons rallied in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead. With runners on first and second, junior pitcher Nick Highberger got the double play that he needed to keep the damage to

a minimum. 

“We didn’t get challenged at (CSU) Bakersfield as far as having to come from behind,” coach Ed Servais said. “You’ve got to put your club in as many situations as possible at the beginning of the year to find out if they have the ability to come back.”  

The Bluejays failed to have a base runner in the top of the eighth, and while the Demons threatened again with two hits in the bottom half, Highberger got out of the

inning unscathed. 

Crawford led off the ninth with a hit-by-pitch and stole second. After Clouthier struck out, senior catcher Kevin Lamb singled to left to put runners on the corners with one out. Sophomore outfielder Kevin Connolly sent a sacrifice fly to center field that knotted the game at three. 

The Demons failed to push a run across in the bottom of the inning, forcing extra innings.

Junior infielder Reagan Fowler led off the 10th with a double down the right-field line. He advanced to third off of a groundout from junior outfielder Brett Murray. Junior infielder Ryan Fitzgerald sent a fly ball to left field that scored Fowler for the go-ahead run. 

Senior pitcher Max Ising took over in the bottom of the 10th and scattered a pair of two-out singles to pick up his first victory of

the season.

“We need to win one-run games as we go through the rest of the season,” Servais said. “I liked their grit. I liked their competitiveness in the first game. That was a good situation for us to be in.” 

Creighton suffered its first loss of the season in the second game of the doubleheader, falling 6-2 to

the Demons.

Junior Matt Warren got the start on the mound, and allowed a run in each of the first three innings. He finished the day allowing three runs off of four hits while striking out two in four

innings pitched. 

Down 4-0 after six, the Bluejays once again looked to start a rally in the seventh inning. Fitzgerald walked and Crawford singled before freshman catcher Luke Horanski grounded out to put runners on second and third. A sacrifice fly from junior designated hitter Matt Gandy scored Fitzgerald to cut the deficit to three runs. Freshman outfielder Devlin Granberg picked up a pinch-hit double to left field to score Crawford. Despite cutting the deficit in half, the Jays stranded two runners in the inning. 

The Demons tagged junior John Oltman for two runs in the bottom of the eighth to diminish the chance of a Bluejay comeback. Demon junior pitcher Chase Hymel did not allow a hit in the final 2 1/3 innings of the game. 

Crawford recorded another two-hit game, contributing to his team-leading nine hits on the year to give him a .474 batting average through five games. 

“Harrison has been a good surprise for us early,” Servais said. “Being a junior college player we had hope that Harrison would get off to a good start for us, and he did. He’s looking more confident each day.” 

Creighton, now 4-1, will return to Louisiana this weekend for three games against the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans. Tulane is 6-1 on the year. 

“Tulane will be the best team we’ve played up-to-date, and that’s not a put-down on the other guys,” Servais said. 

Like the Bluejays, Tulane has an emphasis on pitching and defense, allowing fewer than three runs per game this season. The focus on offense, like the Bluejays as well, has been

small ball. 

“They do have good front-line pitching; they do have a good closer,” Servais said. “They play very much a traditional style offensively. Everybody thinks we bunt a lot, but they’ve got 15 already in their first seven games.” 

In a game against Pepperdine on Feb. 14, the Green Wave trailed 5-0 heading into the eighth inning. Scoring four runs in the eighth and five in the ninth, the team unleashed a furious comeback to take a 9-5 win on the road. 

“They have a new coach down there, and I’m sure they wanted to get off to a fast start, and that’s what they’ve done,” Servais said. “They’ve been in a lot of different scenarios too, so this will be our stiffest challenge.”

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