Corvallis, Ore. — Despite an valiant effort that saw the Creighton Baseball team battle through four NCAA Tournament elimination games, the Bluejays ran out of gas in a winner-take-all battle with Michigan, falling 17-6 in the Corvallis Regional Final on Monday, June 3.
The loss ended Creighton’s season at 41-13, while the Wolverines advanced to the Super Regional with a 44-19 record. The Wolverines will face the winner of tonight’s game between #1 UCLA and Loyola Marymount next weekend.
A majestic second inning solo home run to left from junior Will Robertson gave Creighton an early 1-0 lad. It was Robertson’s 15th home run of the season, moving him into sole possession of the team lead. The Bluejays extended their edge to 2-0 in the season as junior Parker Upton laced an RBI triple to left-center, plating junior Isaac Collins.
Creighton’s starter Mitch Ragan gave one back in the top of the third as he allowed a single, a wild pitch on a strikeout and a pair of walks to force in Michigan’s first run of the game. Evan Johnson came on to strand the bases full of Wolverine in the third with a strikeout of Michigan’s Christian Bullock
The momentum of Johnson’s strikeout carried into the fourth as senior Jack Strunc opened the frame with a blast to right field, his third of the season. Senior Jordan Hovey followed with a double to left and with one down in the frame, sophomore David Vilches lined an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-1.
The bottom of the fourth, however, proved to be Creighton’s undoing as Johnson walked the first two hitters, forcing Bluejay head coach Ed Servais to bring in junior John Sakowski from the bullpen. Michigan went on to plate five in the inning, taking the lead for good at 6-4. After a grounder to short accounted for the first out, a hit batter loaded the bases, then a two-run double by Jesse Franklin made it 4-3 and a two-run single from Jordan Brewer gave the Wolverines the edge. Michigan’s final run of the frame came on an RBI groundout by Blake Nelson.
A solo home from Michigan catcher Joe Donovan made it a 7-4 game. Michigan added four runs on three hits and an error in the sixth to seize an 11-4 edge.
Strunc tried to rally his squad with his second home run of the night to open the seventh, but Michigan answered with six runs in the seventh.
Creighton pushed across an unearned run in the eighth as Strunc delivered and RBI single.
Sakowski suffered his first loss of the season (7-1), allowing four runs on three hits and a walk in two innings of relief. Michigan’s.