• Box Score: Dallas Baptist 5, Creighton 2
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Creighton starter Shane Liska was razor sharp the first three innings of Saturday night's game against one of college baseball's best hitting teams.
Dallas Baptist then demonstrated what makes it so dangerous offensively, knocking Liska from the game with a five-run fourth inning that carried the Patriots to a 5-2 victory that snapped the Bluejays' five-game winning streak.
Dallas Baptist got six hits in the fourth, including two-run homers from Landon Anderson and Duncan McAlpine. Boomer Collins, who played two seasons at Nebraska before transferring after the 2010 season, singled in the Patriots' first run to tie the game that drew 3,621 to TD Ameritrade Park..
“We had a little talk in the dugout before that inning,” Collins said. “He was pretty consistent with his approach, and we decided to change a couple of things. That really helped because we started seeing pitches up and quit chasing a lot of things.”
Liska had used his breaking pitches effectively to retire nine of the first 10 batters he faced without allowing a hit.
“He threw a ton of breaking pitches those first three innings,” Dallas Baptist coach Dan Heefner said. “He pretty much didn't throw anything straight. Our guys finally made an adjustment and said they weren't going to keep making the same mistake over and over.
“We put some better swings on it in that one inning.”
Anderson and McAlpine had the best ones, driving pitches in the right-field stands. Anderson's homer was his third of the season and scored Collins to make it 5-3. Ryan Behmanesh bunted for a single and McAlpine followed with his sixth homer.
Creighton matched Dallas Baptist's hit total of nine and also got five free baserunners with four walks and a hit batsmen. But the Bluejays had difficulty converting their opportunities, stranding 11 runners against Dallas Baptist starter Cy Sneed and reliever Stuart Pudenz.
Creighton took a 1-0 lead in the second on Chance Ross' two-out RBI single and scored its other run in the sixth on a two-out infield single by Brennan Murphy.
But the Bluejays went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position to seal their fate.
“We had been doing well the last four or five games in those situations,” Creighton coach Ed Servais said. “We didn't do well again tonight. We had 14 baserunners and only scored two runs. We had to do better than that.”
It was Pudenz, the Patriots' closer, that made some of the game's biggest pitches after Creighton put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth. The junior right-hander struck out Murphy on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, then got Ross to ground out to end the threat.
“Normally, we use him more in a closer's role, in the eighth and ninth innings,” Heefner said. “But he really wanted the ball. He came to me after last night's game and said, ‘Extend me. I want the ball early and I'll bring it home for you.'
“And sometimes when your closer has to close is when the game is on the line. That sixth inning, with guys on second and third, was a game-type situation. We wanted our best guy in and he got it done for us.”
Pudenz allowed just one hit and struck out seven in picking up his sixth save.
The teams will close out the series at 1 p.m. Sunday, with CU's Erik Mattingly (1-3, 2.76 ERA) pitching against Andrew Elkins (4-1, 3.34).
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