Edwardsville, Ill. — Creighton Baseball split its abbreviated BIG EAST opening series with Butler as the Bluejays claimed a 3-2 win on Sunday, April 8.
The victory lifted Creighton to 18-7 on the season and 1-1 in BIG EAST action, while Butler fell to 18-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
The two squads battled through three scoreless innings, before Creighton scratched across the first run of the game in the fourth. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, junior Jack Strunc moved to second on a walk by junior Ryan Mantle. Sophomore Jason Allbery followed with a two-out RBI single through the left side.
Butler answered in the top of the fifth as Tyler Houston launched a solo home run to left to make it 1-1.
Creighton reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the frame as junior Clark Brinkman lifted a single to right-center, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on an RBI single from sophomore Isaac Collins.
Butler pulled even a second time in the sixth as Michael Hartnagel delivered the Bulldogs second solo shot of the game over the left field wall.
Still tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the tandem of Brinkman and Collins delivered once more. This time Brinkman drew a one-out walk. With Collins at the dish, Creighton head coach Ed Servais called for a hit-and-run. Brinkman took off from first and Collins laced an RBI double down the left field line. Brinkman raced around the bases to just beat the throw to the plate.
Junior Mitch Ragan picked up the win (3-1), allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings of work. Sophomore Mitch Boyer followed with two innings of scoreless relief for his first save of the season, holding Butler without a hit.
Butler reliever Quentin Miller took the loss (0-1), yielding one run on a hit and a walk in one-third of an inning.
Creighton return to the diamond on Tuesday as the Bluejays host South Dakota State at 6:30 pm in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.