In a Big East Tournament filled with drama, Sunday’s championship series was no exception. Creighton started a rally in the top of the ninth, but it was too little too late as the Bluejays fell to Xavier 8-7.
The Bluejays came into the top of the ninth down 8-5 when the rally started. Catcher Matt Gandy started things off with a double to left center. After a ground out from Harrison Crawford, Brett Murray singled to left field which scored Gandy, cutting Xavier’s lead to two.
Ryan Fitzgerald kept the rally going with a base hit to the right side. Following Fitzgerald’s single, both runners advanced on a wild pitch, putting the tying run in scoring position. With runners on second and third, Xavier pitcher Garrett Schilling walked Kevin Connolly to load the bases for the Bluejays.
Brennan Hammer had a sacrifice fly that advanced the runners to second and third and scored Murray, cutting Xavier’s lead to just one. Daniel Woodrow, who went 3-for-5 before his final at-bat, hit a grounder to the shortstop and almost beat the throw, but was too late and Xavier picked up the final out.
Fitzgerald, Crawford and Woodrow all had three hits in the game. Nick Highberger picked up the loss, his first of the season, moving his record to 2-1.
Creighton will now await its placement in the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Selection Show airs Monday on ESPNU at 11 a.m.
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