There was little suspense the first two days of the Creighton-Seton Hall baseball series.
The Bluejays and Pirates saved it all for Sunday’s wild marathon.
Seton Hall erased deficits three times on the day and then scored the winning run on a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth as the Pirates earned a 10-9 win in a game that lasted 4 hours, 32 minutes at Charles Schwab Field.
It was by far the best effort by the Pirates this weekend as Creighton won the first two games by a combined score of 22-2.
“The whole team was just flat to start the game. We talked about it before the game,” Creighton coach Ed Servais said his squad. “Once they got on the scoreboard, they felt like they had a chance today. I give Seton Hall credit, they competed hard.”
It also was the first Big East loss of the season for Creighton. Coupled with UConn’s win Sunday, the Bluejays and Huskies once again for tied atop the league standings with 8-1 records. Three of CU’s last four league series are on the road, beginning Friday at Xavier.
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After sweeping a road series at St. John’s last weekend, Creighton had won 20 of 23 games before dropping a two-game series with Arizona. The Jays went 2-3 this week,and Servais said he could tell Sunday that his team was tired physically and mentally.
“We learned a lot today. Really this was the most intense situation we’ve been in,” Servais said. “We’re going to see more of that as we go down the stretch.”
On Sunday, every time the Bluejays took a lead, Seton Hall had an answer.
Creighton appeared to be on their way to another decisive win as it scored five in the bottom of the second for a 5-2 lead.
“I thought we had some momentum. I thought we’d settle in a little bit,” Servais said.
But the Pirates singled five times in a three-run third inning to tie it. Andrew Meggs gave Creighton a 6-5 lead with two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
The day’s twists and turns really started in the seventh.
With CU closer Tommy Steier on the mound, Seton Hall’s David Haberman tied it with a homer to left with one out. Steier walked the next batter, and after throwing a strike to Jack Wentworth on the next pitch, Steier was ejected by the home-plate umpire for making a comment.
Servais said he hoped to use Steier the rest of the way after bringing him in during the sixth inning. But after the ejection, the Jays used five pitchers to record their last eight outs as Creighton couldn’t find the answer to slow Seton Hall.
Following the ejection, Wentworth would hit an RBI triple later in the at-bat to put the Pirates up, but Creighton regained the lead with two in the bottom of the inning. That included an RBI single by Nolan Sailors that hit the first-base bag, bounced into the air and came to rest in shallow right field.
Seton Hall scored twice in the eighth on a Haberman RBI double and a wild pitch. Creighton tied it in the bottom of the inning on Alan Roden’s double. On that play, Meggs scored from second, but Kyle Hess was thrown out at home trying to score the go-ahead run.
In the ninth, the Pirates had a runner at second with two outs when third baseman Hess made a throwing error to first to extend the inning, Two walks followed, including one to Haberman that forced in the winning run.
After having 10 hits the first two days of the series, Seton Hall had 16 Sunday and also drew nine walks. Meggs and Hess led Creighton’s offense with two RBIs each.
Seton Hall (11-28, 3-6) 113 000 221 – 10 16 2
Creighton (23-11, 8-1) 050 001 210 – 9 9 2
W: Conover, 2-2. L: Leach, 0-2. 2B: SH, Luders, Haberman; CU, Roden. 3B: SH, Wentworth. HR: SH, Haberman.