Creighton catcher Michael Emodi hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning as the Bluejays strung together 11 unanswered runs in a 13-3 defeat of Kansas State Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium. According to a release from K-State Athletics.
Emodi’s homer, his sixth of the season, broke a 2-2 tie and sparked the Bluejays’ (9-5) 11-0 run over a four-inning stretch as they built a 13-2 lead after seven innings.
“It’s tough,” head coach Brad Hill said after the game. “We were sloppy from the start, two errors in the first and, unfortunately, we never recovered. We had a chance to score more in the first inning, but [they had]13 runs on 16 hits, that’s a lot of runs and a lot of hits. Wasn’t a real good night overall.”
The Wildcats (10-6) utilized six total pitchers who combined to yield a season-high run total in just the Cats’ third loss over their last 13 games. The Jays scored multiple runs in the first, third, sixth and seventh innings.
“We left a lot of balls up,” added Hill of the pitching. “They squared a lot of balls up, a lot of balls were hit hard. We had a lot of balls up in the zone and they made us pay.”
Wildcat starter Quinton Potter (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits over 3 1/3 innings of work.
Over the game’s final 6 2/3 innings, six Creighton relievers combined to allow just three hits and one unearned run while collecting seven strikeouts against one walk. Jays pitcher Evan Johnson (1-1) earned the win with a perfect inning of relief.
K-State had two-hit nights from Drew Mount and Rainer Ausmus and got RBIs from Ausmus and catcher TK McWhertor.
Creighton scraped across two unearned runs, aided by two K-State errors, in the top of the first inning. Bluejays right fielder Will Robertson roped an RBI double down the left field line to score Clark Brinkman, who reached base courtesy of the Cats’ first error.
K-State cut the Jays’ lead in half when Will Brennan scored on an infield single by Ausmus. Brennan started the inning with a double, extending his on-base streak to 39 games.
The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the third with back-to-back two-out hits. Ausmus drove a double to left-center field and McWhertor brought him home with a single to left.
Emodi’s three-run home run off Wildcat reliever Mitch Zubradt broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth inning and the Cats would not score again until the bottom of the ninth inning.
Ryan Mantle added a solo homer in the top of the fifth off Caleb Littlejim to push the Bluejays’ lead to 6-2. Robertson belted a two-run homer in the sixth off Littlejim in a three-run inning before the Jays’ played four in the seventh off sophomore Tyler Eckberg. The Cats’ duo combined to allow eight earned runs over 2 2/3 innings on seven hits.
Six Creighton hitters turned in multi-hit performances.
A pair of K-State freshmen, Andrew Stratman and Alex Belch, held Creighton scoreless over 2 1/3 innings.
Ausmus and Brennan had K-State’s only extra-base hits. The Wildcat offense went 2-for-10 (.200) with runners in scoring position in stranding 11 baserunners.
K-State committed a season-high four errors as seven were totaled by the two teams.
K-State and Charleston are set to do battle in a three-game series at Tointon Family Stadium beginning Friday, March 16. First pitch has been moved up to 3 p.m.