WICHITA, Kan. — Creighton took advantage of a pair of Wichita State errors and held off a late Shocker rally to claim the series opener 6-5 Friday .
Wichita State (30-23, 14-5) made it interesting in the ninth. After trailing 6-3, the Shockers brought in two runs and moved the tying run to second, but Bryan Sova got the final out, giving Creighton (27-13, 10-6) the victory and Sova his third save.
The Shockers scored first in the fourth inning when two walks and two hit batters produced two runs. The Bluejays answered immediately in the top of the fifth with five runs of their own.
Reagan Fowler earned an eight-pitch walk, Kevin Lamb was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt and Brennan Murphy walked on four straight balls to open the inning. One out later, Ryan Fitzgerald reached base on an error.
The Jays took advantage as Brad McKewon singled to left, Federico Castagnini floated a sacrifice fly and Jake Peter connected on a drive to center to give Creighton a 4-2 lead.
Wichita State cut the deficit in the bottom of the fifth, but Creighton responded again thanks to the second Shocker error.
Lamb and Murphy each singled to start the inning before Michael Blatchford hit a slow roller to third. Wichita State’s Tyler Baker attempted to force Murphy out at second, but the ensuing relay throw landed in the dugout, bringing Lamb and Murphy across the plate to extend the lead to 6-3.
The Shockers threatened against starting pitcher Tommy Strunc in the sixth, but Mark Winkelman came on in relief to get out of the jam.
Winkelman proceeded to retire the first 10 batters he faced. In the ninth, he allowed two runs to score. With the game-winning run at the plate, Sova entered and induced a weak fly ball to center.
Strunc allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings while striking out two.
The three-game series continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Wichita’s Eck Stadium. Creighton’s Nick Musec will take the mound against A.J. Ladwig, a sophomore from Millard West.