After piling up 10 losses in their first 11 games, Creighton finally got some things to go its way, and it did so in dramatic fashion.
After downing Utah Valley 3-2 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, the Bluejays stormed back from a 5-0 deficit to earn a sweep with a 6-5 win in front 1,157 at TD Ameritrade Park.
The pair of one-run wins stood in contrast to the way things have been playing out for the Bluejays this season.
They entered Saturday 0-6 in one-run games, including a 2-1 loss in 11 innings to Utah Valley on Friday that made it eight straight losses since CU’s lone win over Santa Clara on Feb. 24.
Creighton coach Ed Servais said he hopes Saturday helps reverse those trends.
“I think this will help relax them a little bit,” Servais said. “They know they can come back now. They know they can hit in this ballpark.
“We’ve lost so many one-run games in the early part of the year, I think they thought every time they got into a one-run situation, it wasn’t going to turn out good.”
After going down 5-0 after three innings in the nightcap, it looked like the Jays (3-11) were going to have to settle for a split with an offense that entered the game batting .226.
But Clark Brinkman, who led off the eighth inning with a double and scored the winning run, said he knew the Jays were going to start scoring.
“I think we’re really getting our stride now and getting going,” said Brinkman, who hit a home run during Friday’s loss. “We’ve had multiple comebacks before. We’re starting to get on the right track and coming out on top of them at this point.”
Will Robertson sparked a four-run seventh that tied the game when he hit his first triple as a Bluejay to scored Thomas Luevano and Bryce Only.
Robertson said he also sees Creighton’s fortunes starting to turn.
“Getting home finally — I think getting some close wins today and pulling out the come-from-behind win is huge, and I think it could be a turning point for us,” Robertson said.
Servais said the rally could go a long way in improving the Bluejays’ psyche.
“They need to win any way they can,” he said. “But when you win when it didn’t look very good early, down 5-0 and we’ve been having trouble scoring runs, 5-0 actually plays more like 10-0 in some cases.”
In the opener, The Bluejays took a 3-0 lead through six innings behind starter Jeff Albrecht, who threw 108 pitches before allowing a run in the seventh inning.
Servais said Albrecht’s performance was key to the Jays’ success the rest of the day.
“When you play a four-game series on the weekend, your starter’s got to get you deep in the games, and Jeff did a really good job,” Servais said.
Utah Valley (4-14) scored a run in the seventh and eighth innings to cut its deficit to 3-2. But David Gerber shut the Wolverines down over the final 1 2⁄3 innings to pick up his second save of the season and give Albrecht his first win this year.
The teams will complete their four-game series on Sunday. First pitch is 1 p.m.
Utah Valley ……………….. 000 000 110—2 8 0
At Creighton (2-11) ….. 010 011 00x—3 4 0
W: Albrecht, 1-2. L: Mayer, 0-5. S: Gerber, 2. 2B: UV, Berry (4). CU, Only (5).
Utah Valley (4-14) ………. 203 000 000—5 9 2
At Creighton (3-11) …….. 000 100 41x—6 11 0
W: Tapani, 1-0. L: Olguin, 1-2. HR: UV, Peterson (1). 3B: CU, Robertson (1). 2B: UV, Berry (4), Willis (3). CU, Coker (1), Luevano (5), Brinkman (5). A: 1,157.