EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Creighton opened its final season of Missouri Valley Conference action with a 6-1 win against Evansville on Friday.
The Bluejays (11-4, 1-0) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, scoring with two outs on a single by senior Alex Staehely and a walk to senior Brennan Murphy.
The Purple Aces got a run back in the bottom of the first, but that was all freshman Tommy Strunc would surrender in his fifth start of the season.
Strunc improved to 4-0, giving up one earned run in six innings. The right-hander struck out seven.
Staehely and sophomore Jake Peter extended Creighton’s lead to 4-1 with RBI singles in the fourth inning. The Bluejays added some insurance in the ninth as catcher Kevin Lamb drove in two runs with a two-out single.
Three relievers combined for three shutout innings, including Peter’s three-strikeout ninth. Six Jays finished with two hits.
Kyle Freeland (2-4) gave up four runs in 623 innings to take the loss for Evansville (7-12, 0-1).
The teams will complete the three-game series with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.