OMAHA, Neb. – In a battle of All-BIG EAST starting pitchers, Clark Brinkman’s two-run home run propelled the Creighton baseball team to a 4-1 win over Seton Hall on Thursday night in front of 4,114 fans at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha during Game Two of the 2017 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Presented by Jeep.
The Bluejays improved to 24-23 and will play Xavier at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in a winner’s bracket matchup, while the Pirates fell to 29-23 and will play St. John’s at 2:30 p.m. on Friday in an elimination game.
Xavier defeated St. John’s 13-3 during game one on Thursday afternoon.
Creighton starting pitcher Rollie Lacy scattered five hits and allowed one unearned run during seven innings of work while picking up his fifth win of the season (5-2). He also struck out five and walked three and hit one.
The Bluejays broke into the run column during the fifth with a two-run home run off the bat of Clark Brinkman. With Jason Allbery at first base after a lead-off walk, Brinkman sent a 2-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen to give Creighton a 2-0 lead.
Seton Hall cut the deficit to one run on an infield hit during the sixth. Mike Alescio singled to short, and an errant throw allowed the first Pirates run to score to make it 2-1.
Creighton countered in the bottom half of the sixth as Bryce Only tripled to right-center field to make it 3-1 in favor of the Bluejays and end All-BIG EAST First Team pitcher Zach Prendergast’s start.
Prendergast lasted 5.2 innings and gave up five hits, three runs, walked three, hit a batter and struck out four.
The Bluejays added an insurance run in the eighth inning as Riley Landuyt doubled over the left-fielder’s head to drive in Parker Upton from first base.
Ethan DeCaster recorded his fifth save of the season with two hitless innings of relief.
Landuyt finished 2-for-4 with a double and RBI, and six other Bluejays each recorded one hit.
Creighton had a chance to break a scoreless tie during the third inning after loading the bases with a hit and pair of two-out walks. The Bluejays’ No. 3 hitter, Thomas Luevano, fell behind 0-2 before grounding out to the pitcher to end the frame without a runner crossing home plate.
Michael Emodi doubled to the left-center field gap to lead off Creighton’s half of the fourth inning before Prendergast stranded two runners to keep the game scoreless.
The Bluejays left five runners on bases during the third and fourth innings combined but only two during their final four at-bats.
Creighton advanced to the winner’s bracket with its third consecutive win over Seton Hall during the opening round of the BIG EAST Baseball Championship after a 6-5 win over the Pirates last season and a 7-4 win in 2015.