The Creighton Bluejays didn’t need many hits to produce lots of runs Friday in their series opener with St. John’s at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Jays took advantage of three Red Storm errors and a generous pitching staff that surrendered nine walks and hit three batters as Creighton routed St. John’s 11-0.
With the win, the Bluejays reached the 30-win plateau with six games remaining in the regular season.
Jake Holton did most of the damage at the plate for the Jays, collecting three of the seven Creighton hits.
He went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and an opposite-field grand slam to drive in six.
The win kept the Jays percentage points ahead of Xavier in first place in the Big East and clinched a spot in the Big East tournament.
Creighton coach Ed Servais said reaching the 30-win mark this early was an accomplishment — especially with just 12 home games behind them due to the many early-season weather cancellations.
“I told the team beforehand, you know, 30 wins in college baseball — that’s a big deal, so let’s go out and get it, and the did. And now hopefully we can relax a little bit,” Servais said.
“There’s something magical about getting 30 wins in a college baseball season. These guys have done it. We’ve still got some more games to go, obviously, and we’re getting a little more comfortable playing at home.”
Holton’s grand slam came in the fifth inning on a 2-0 count to put the Jays (30-10, 10-3 Big East) up 11-0 on just five hits.
Holton said he knew he hit it well right away.
“Hitter’s count there. I saw the pitch I wanted. He left it over the outer half of the plate. I had a good feeling out of the box, and I kind of celebrated a little bit right off the bat,” Holton said.
Servais said the game was very unique.
“I looked up at the scoreboard, and we had 11 runs on five hits. I don’t know if we’ll see that again,” he said.
CU starter Mitch Ragan earned the win to improve to 7-2.
He allowed no runs on four hits while fanning six and walking one through six innings after coming off a loss and a no-decision in his previous two starts. He combined with two relievers on a six-hitter.
Ragan said he approached the game with St. John’s (26-20, 5-8) with a more aggressive mindset.
“I feel like lately in my past three starts, I feel like I was too timid early on in the game and teams were hitting me around early. And I settled in, but had trouble early on,” Ragan said.
“Tonight I really focused on right away in that first inning, first two innings I should be really aggressive and take the game to them, and it worked.”
The Jays took a 3-0 lead in the third inning without the benefit of a hit and scored three more an inning later to go up 6-0 on Red Storm starter Joe LaSorsa.
Starting the game with a 1.60 ERA, he left after being charged with six runs on three hits with four walks in 3 2⁄3 innings. His ERA jumped to 2.02.
The series resumes Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
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