Bears Down Creighton 8-3 For Series Sweep in Omaha
Pat Doyle threw a career-high eight innings and the Missouri State baseball team took an 8-0 lead into an anxious ninth inning before walking away with an 8-3 victory and series sweep of Creighton Sunday at the CU Sports Complex in Omaha, Neb.
The Bears (29-19, 14-5 Missouri Valley Conference) gave Creighton (28-21, 14-6) its first MVC home sweep since 2003 and put themselves in position for a league title with first-place Indiana State (33-14, 15-4) coming to Hammons Field next weekend.
CU’s Greg Hellhake retired 16 of the first 17 Bears he faced until Curt Courtwright singled with one out in the sixth and went to third when a pickoff attempt got away. Aaron Conway laced an RBI double to left for the game’s first run and Brayden Drake came through with a two-out homer, his fourth straight game with a long ball, to put the Bears ahead 3-0.
Pat Doyle matched Hellhake pitch for pitch, retiring 15-of-16 on his way to a career-high five innings and 18 of the first 20 through six. The Jays then opened the seventh with a leadoff single by Darin Ruf and a walk by Vicente Cafaro. Doyle got T.J. Roemmich to ground into a 6-3 double play and Jimmy Swift flied out to right to keep the shutout intact.
Doyle gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to end his day after allowing only four singles, a walk and a hit batter over eight innings with three strikeouts. That single in the ninth came around to score after he left for the only run charged to the junior righty.
Drake gave the Bears some insurance in the eighth, surprising the Bluejays with a squeeze bunt to score Courtwright after a leadoff walk to make it 4-0. Courtwright added a two-run double to score Chris Playter and Trevor Rogers with two outs in the ninth. After that, Conway was hit by a pitch, a double steal followed and Medrano drove both in with a double to push the lead out to 8-0.
Courtwright set a school record with 10 assists in the contest in addition to going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs. The previous record of nine was held by four players and last done by Tanner Mattson in 2006.
Ruf hit an RBI double in the ninth, Cafaro was hit by a pitch and Roemmich doubled to right to pull the Jays within 8-2. Nick Becker had an RBI single with one out to force Jon Barnes out of the game in favor of Tim Clubb, who shut the door for the win.
Missouri State begins the season’s final series at 6:30 Thursday at Hammons Field against Indiana State.