Little Rock, Ark. — Clean-up hitter Jack Strunc had three hits and drove in three runs to lead Creighton to a 10-8 win over Arkansas-Little Rock in its season-opener on Friday afternoon.
Strunc had a key at-bat in the fifth inning when Creighton took the lead for good.
Trailing 3-2, Creighton loaded the bases with one out when Arkansas-Little Rock intentionally walked Will Robertson to bring up Strunc. He responded with a two-run double down the left-field line.
The Bluejays scored four in the fifth and built an 8-3 lead before Little Rock scored four in the seventh.
Creighton answered with two in the eighth as Jake Holton singled in Robertson and Strunc later scored on a groundout by Jordan Hovey.
Starter Mitch Ragan went six innings, allowing three runs and six hits with seven strikeouts to earn the win. Bobby Kametas pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for the save.
The top three batters in CU’s lineup, Isaac Collins, Parker Upton and Robertson, all scored twice. Holton and Hovey finished with two RBIs apiece.
Creighton and Little Rock continue their series Saturday at 2 p.m.
Creighton (1-0)…………….200 041 120—10 10 2
Ark.-Little Rock (0-1)…….012 000 410—8 12 2
W: Ragan, 1-0. L: Fidel, 0-1. 2B: CU, Strunc 2, Hovey; ALR, Scott, Jordan. HR: ALR, Benavidez.
Jays win two at tourney
DENTON, Texas — Creighton opened the Mean Green Classic with two wins Friday, shutting out Arkansas Pine-Bluff 10-0 in five innings before beating Northwestern State 5-2.
The Bluejays (3-4) finished with 13 hits against Arkansas-Pine Bluff while holding the Golden Lions to one hit.
Creighton scored four runs apiece in the third and fifth innings. Kiara Mills had an RBI triple in the fifth to give the Bluejays a 9-0 lead.
Pitcher Laura Roecker had three strikeouts and gave up four walks to improve to 2-0 for Creighton.
Eight Bluejays recorded at least one hit against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and each had at least one RBI. Ashley Cantu and Mileah McKelvy both went 3 for 3 and Cantu drove in three runs.
Creighton was behind 1-0 after one inning against Northwestern State, but the Bluejays scored four runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead for good.
Cantu tied the game with an RBI single and McKelvy drove in the go-ahead run with a fielder’s choice.
McKelvy hit the Bluejays’ first home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth to give CU a 5-2 lead.
McKelvy was 1 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored against Northwestern State.
The Bluejays will face North Texas at 4 p.m. Saturday and have a rematch with Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 6:30 p.m.
Creighton………………….104 14—10 13 2
Arkansas-PB (0-1………..000 00— 0 1 2
W: Roecker, 2-0. L: Hall, 0-1. 2B: CU, Cantu, McKelvy, Finan, Alm. 3B: Mills.
Northwestern State (2-3)………101 000 0—2 4 2
Creighton (3-4)………………….040 100 0—5 6 0