The Creighton pitching staff allowed only two earned runs during 25 innings of work as the Bluejays picked up their fifth consecutive weekend sweep.
Bluejay starter Rollie Lacy gave up two earned runs during the third inning of the series-opener on Friday, but Creighton did not surrender an earned run during the final 22 and 2/3 innings against Stony Brook.
Creighton defeated Stony Brook 5-4 on Friday night before picking up a pair of 4-0 victories on Sunday over the Seawolves to extend its win streak to 10 games.
The Bluejays entered Tuesday’s game at Nebraska with 16 wins in their last 17 games. Creighton’s lone loss during that stretch came in a mid-week game at Kansas State on March 9.
The Jays swept weekend outings against Stetson, Murray State, UAB and North Dakota before this past weekend.
During their 10-game win streak, the Creighton bullpen was 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA, (three earned runs), and 28 strikeouts to only five walks.
Following the weekend sweep of the Seawolves, Creighton (16-4) lowered its team ERA to 2.15, which ranks No. 4 nationally.
The Bluejays opened the three-game series with a come-from-behind effort on Friday night.
Stony Brook scored four runs in the top of the third before Creighton rallied for one in the fourth and sixth innings and three in the home half of the eighth.
The Seawolves committed four errors and none of the Bluejays’ runs were earned. Each of the errors occurred within the infield.
“Put [the ball] on the ground — make them show us that they can make plays like we can — and there’s not many teams out there that are going to make plays like we can,” senior catcher Matt Gandy said. “When we get in that kind of game, we’re going to turn out alright.”
By contrast, Creighton committed only two errors during the entire weekend and lowered its fielding percentage to .984. The Bluejays are fourth in the country in fielding percentage.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth, junior shortstop Nicky Lopez advanced to second base on an error by the Stony Brook third baseman and advanced to second on the play. Lopez advanced to third on a passed ball, which also allowed senior first baseman Reagan Fowler to reach base after striking out.
Senior outfielder Brett Murray added to the early-inning damage with a single over the third baseman’s head to score Lopez and cut the lead to one.
The next batter, junior Bryce Only, reached on the second error of the inning to load the bases.
Creighton junior outfielder Riley Landuyt grounded into a double play for the first two outs of the inning, but Fowler scored from third base to tie the game. The Bluejays did not go down quietly.
On a 1-0 delivery, senior outfielder Kevin Connolly hit a slow roller to the Seawolves’ shortstop, and the Creighton Prep graduate beat the throw to first as Murray crossed home plate to give the Bluejays their first lead of the game.
“It was tied and we needed to get that run in, and I knew if we have David Gerber on the mound he’s going to close it out for us,” Connolly said. “It was just huge that I was just able to get my bat out in front of that.”
After Stony Brook escaped the inning down by a single run, Gerber needed only nine pitches in the top of the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Murray led Creighton at the plate with a 3 for 4 performance, two runs scored and an RBI.
“Anytime you can come back from a four-run deficit early in the game just shows the character of the team being able to fight back,” Murray said.
Of Creighton’s nine hits on Friday, only two were of the extra-base variety.
“Tonight, the Grand Canyon was in full effect,” Connolly said following Friday’s game. “There were guys like Reagan Fowler that hit balls very hard into the wind that just went nowhere, so you had to make an adjustment at the plate and put it on the ground like you usually do when you’re at TD Ameritrade.”
Saturday’s scheduled contest moved to Sunday because of wet conditions.
The extra day did not help Stony Brook figure out the Jays’ pitchers.
Junior left-hander Jeff Albrecht struck out a career-high five batters and picked up his second win of the season with five scoreless innings in game one of two on Sunday.
The Bluejays used a three-run third inning to take a 3-0 lead and scored a single run in the fifth to push the final advantage to four runs.
Lopez finished 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.