Lawrence, Kan. — Despite delivering nine hits, including four of extra bases, the Creighton baseball suffered a 3-2 loss at Kansas on Wednesday, March 4th in the Bluejays’ first midweek game of the season for Creighton.
The loss dropped the Bluejays to 4-6 on the season, while Kansas moved to 6-6 overall.
Creighton took an early lead in the contest with a run in the third inning. Sophomore Andrew Meggs drove a one-out single up the middle, then moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Cole Albers. Junior Will Hanafan followed with an RBI double down the right field line to put Creighton up 1-0.
Kansas responded with a run in the third, scoring without a hit in the frame. With one down in the inning Kansas leadoff hitter Casey Burnham was hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a ground out, then an intentional walk put Jayhawks at first and second with two out. A Bluejay error allowed Kansas to tie the contest, while the frame ended as the Jayhawks’ Benjamin Sems was cut down at the plate trying to give Kansas the lead.
In the bottom of the fifth the Jayhawks moved out to a 2-1 lead with three walks and a hit batter, but Bluejay designated hitter David Vilches brought Creighton even with one powerful swing in the sixth. The Arkansas native blasted a hanging breaking pitch over the left field wall.
The game remained tied into the bottom of the seventh, when Kansas once more turned an extra base runner into a run. Durham opened the frame with a bouncer to first, then beat Creighton hurler Paul Bergstrom to the bag for a single. Following a sacrifice and an intentional walk, Kansas cleanup hitter Nolan Metcalf drive an RBI single into left field to give the Jayhawks a 3-2 edge.
Bergstrom suffered the loss (0-1), allowing one run on one hit in one-third of an inning. Kansas reliever Nathan Berry earned the win (1-1) with an inning of scoreless ball. Jayhawk closer Jonah Ulane earned his second save of the season with three strikeouts in the final frame.
Offensively the Bluejays got two hits each from Hanafan, Meggs and Vilches. Creighton, however, left six runners on base. Six Bluejay hurlers issued seven walks and a pair of hit batters as Kansas stranded 10 in the contest.
Creighton opens its home schedule on Saturday, March 7th as the Bluejays host Portland and Nebraska-Omaha in a split doubleheader. Creighton faces Portland at 1:00 pm, then battles UNO at 4:30 pm.