Omaha, Neb. — Junior Keith Rogalla was masterful on Sunday, April 9, tossing a complete game to guide Creighton to a 5-1 win over # 14 St. John’s in the rubber game of the series.
The win lifted Creighton to 10-16 on the season and 2-1 in BIG EAST play, while St. John’s fell to 22-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The game began quietly enough as Rogalla sat down the Red Storm in order in the top of the first.
Creighton wasted no time giving its hurler the lead as sophomore Clark Brinkman drew a walk to open the bottom half of the first. Executing a flawless hit-and-run freshman Isaac Collins sent Brinkman to third, then sophomore Thomas Luevano bounced an RBI single up the middle as the Bluejays claimed a 1-0 edge. Looking to raise their advantage Creighton put Collins and Luevano in motion as senior Riley Landuyt lined to left. Red Storm left fielder Michael Donadio raced in to snag the line drive and was able to start the 7-4-3 triple play to end the inning.
Unphased Rogalla retired the Red Storm on nine pitches in the second to send his offense back to the dish. Creighton capitalized with four consecutive singles from senior Michael Emodi, freshman Will Robertson, senior Bryce Only and freshman Parker Upton. Upton’s single with a dribbler down the first base line to bring home Emodi. St. John’s starter Michael LoPresti fielded Upton’s ball, but his throw to first went into right allowing Robertson to cross the plate. After freshman Jason Allbery delivered an RBI groundout, Creighton pushed across its fifth run of the game via a safety squeeze by Brinkman.
Returning to the mound up 5-0, Rogalla continued to cruise. St. John’s first base runner did not reach until two men were out in the fourth. Rogalla retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced, allowing two hits and a hit batter in the sixth to account for the Red Storm’s only run of the contest.
After allowing the run in the sixth, Rogalla regained his composure by scattering singles in both the seventh and the eighth.
Looking for his second career complete game, Rogalla went back to the bump in the ninth. The Illinois native responded with his fifth 1-2-3 frame of the game to earn the win (2-2), limiting St. John’s to one run on five hits. Rogalla did not walk a batter, while striking out eight.
Rogalla’s first complete game came in 2015, tossing six innings of a seven-inning loss to Butler.
Creighton returns to the diamond on Tuesday as the Bluejays host South Dakota State in a midweek battle beginning at 6:30 pm.