Jays Return from NYC with Conference Lead

The series win over St. John's left the Jays in first place heading into the final week

Creighton baseball made its first visit to Queens, New York for a crucial BIG EAST series versus St. John's this past weekend. The Red Storm and Bluejays entered tied atop the standings with the regular season winding down.

Game 1: Creighton (25-15-1, 10-3) 5 v. St. John's (32-15, 11-2) 6

Tommy Strunc made his first start since March 10 at Arkansas State. He lasted two innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Offensively, Creighton got the starter off the hook by tying the game at four after three innings of play. The Jays grabbed the lead at 5-4 after Mike Gerber drove in Ryan Fitzgerald in the seventh. St. John's responded in the bottom half, grabbing the lead off Bryan Sova. CU mounted a ninth-inning rally with Brad McKewon and Fitzgerald drawing back-to-back walks with one out. Jake Peter and Gerber, however, couldn't come up with needed hits off Red Storm closer Joe Kuzia.

Game 2: Creighton (26-15-1, 11-3) 13 v. St. John's (32-16, 11-3) 11

Game two of the series started Saturday, but, due to rain, was concluded on Sunday morning before the finale between the conference leaders. CU trailed 5-4 when play was halted. The Bluejays tied it before SJU put four up, reclaiming a 9-5 lead. Continuing this seesaw contest, the Bluejays put up a five spot and took a one-run lead. St. John's took a 11-10 advantage to the ninth inning when they called on Kuzia who hadn't been scored on in 33.2 innings this season. Peter, however, came up with a three-run homer, putting CU up 13-11. Sova then threw a scoreless ninth setting up a rubber match. McKewon went 5 for 6, and joined Peter in plating three runs. Brett Murray and Nicky Lopez had two RBI apiece.

Game 3: Creighton (27-15-1, 12-3) 15 v. St. John's (32-17, 11-4) 5 Fox Sports 1 televised game three with the winner staking claim to the conference lead heading into the final week. Creighton wasted little time grabbing the lead, as Gerber crushed a two-run home run over the St. John's bullpen. Leading by one the next time CU came to the plate, the Jays got another homer from Gerber that nearly traveled the same distance. Peter and Fowler also drove in runs during the four-run inning that made it 7-2. Up 8-5, it was a seven-run eighth inning that gave CU separation and the conference lead. The Bluejays started Jeff Albrecht, who went 4.1 innings, allowing all five runs. The bullpen pitched 4.2 scoreless innings that insured the win. Mark Lukowski, John Oltman and Nick Highberger combined to shutdown the Red Storm. Gerber finished with six RBI, while Ben Lahn homered and added three.

BIG EAST Standings
Creighton Bluejays (12-3, 27-15-1)
St. John's Red Storm (11-4, 32-17)
Seton Hall Pirates (10-5, 36-11)
Xavier Musketeers (7-8, 24-24)
Butler Bulldogs (5-10, 18-29)
Georgetown Hoyas (5-13, 19-28)
Villanova Wildcats (4-11, 16-30)

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