Creighton Forces Second Title Game with 4-3 Win Saturday
WICHITA, Kan. -- Creighton's Gabe Lapito hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and force a second championship game against host Wichita State in the 2005 ConAgra Foods Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Eck Stadium-Home of Tyler Field.
Creighton scored first in the bottom of the second when Odenreider scored on a error by first baseman Tyler Hill.
The Shockers answered with a lone run in the top of the fourth on a one-out Damon Sublett single and Schermerhorn double.
After a scoreless third inning, CU starter Adam Schaecher left after 3 2/3 innings in favor of Ben Mancuso.
In the Shocker fifth, WSU's Nick McCoola singled to left field and Brandon Hall walked after Brian Spear grounded out. Blake Hurlbutt reached on a fielder's choice when Hall was out at second to put runners at the corners. Napolitan's single to left scored McCoola. Brown then walked to load the bases and CU went to the bullpen again.
Matt Bowers took over a 1-0 count from Mancuso to throw three-straight balls and walk in Hurlbutt to give WSU a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, CU's Tony Roth singled to lef, Dutton flied out to left and Zach Daeges singled to right to put runners at the corners with one out. WSU went to Danny Jackson in relief of Touchatt, who went 4 1/3 innings. Norquist singled to left and scored Roth to close the gap to WSU, 3-2. Gradoville flied out for the second out of the inning before Daniel then singled in Daeges to tie the game at 3-3. Jackson then hit the next batter to load the bases. After a visit to the mound by WSU pitching coach Brent Kemnitz, WSU ended the inning with a force out at second off a Lapito grounder to third.
Jackson opened the inning at the plate with a walk before CU went to its fourth pitcher of the game with a 0-2 count to McCoola. Reese came in relief and struck McCoola out looking and Jackson was caught stealing on the stike 'em out throw 'em out double play to end the inning.
Brandon Hall led off the Shocker seventh with a double to right center. After Hurlbutt grounded out, Napolitan walked to put runners at first and second. Brown then reached on a fielder's choice that also ruled Napolitan safe at second when the ball slipped from Dutton' s glove in the exchange.
Jared Simon went to the mound for WSU in the seventh, and got Daeges to line out to short. Norquist singled to the pitcher for CU's first runner of the inning. Norquist went to second on a wild pitch and Gradoville walked. Hinrichs, who went to pinch run for Gradoville was then picked off first by WSU catcher Brandon Hall. Jackson then walked Daniel, and was replaced on the mound by Khol Nanney.
Gabe Lapito hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to break the tie for the first run by either team in 2 2 /3 innings. Nanney then reired the next three-straight batters.
The home run proved to be enough as Brandon Bird got his 10th save of the season as he retired the side in the ninth for WSU to take the 4-3 win and force the second title game at 6 p.m. Nanney fell to 3-1 for WSU with the loss.
CU improved to 46-14 overall, while WSU fell to 48-22. The championship game begins at 6 p.m.
The championship game will be shown live at 6 p.m. Central on FSN Midwest, FSN South and Fox College Sports, and tape-delay at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The championship telecast will also be cleared on Metro Sports - the leaguešs production company which is based in Kansas City, Mo. - at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 29.