Redbirds Clinch Series, Defeat Creighton, 5-2
April 10, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. - Brad Sorkin scattered three hits and held Creighton scoreless through 6.2 innings while pitching Illinois State to a 5-2, series-clinching win over the Bluejays at CU Sports Complex Saturday afternoon. The win secured Illinois State's first series win over Creighton since 2001, and first series win against the Blujays in Omaha since 1986.
Sorkin didn't allow more than two runners on base until the sixth inning and never let a runner past second base while shutting out the Jays until he left in the seventh with two outs. Illinois State (14-14, 4-1 MVC) pushed across five runs on 13 hits to take a 2-0 lead in the weekend series with Creighton (14-11, 3-5 MVC). Sorkin and Illinois State reliever Cam Verbeke combined to strike out four batters in the seventh - one reached on a dropped third strike - and were one out away from a shutout before pinch-hitter Joey Bowens tripled with two on and two outs in the ninth off Kenny Long.
Kevin Tokarski led off the game with a double and after a sacrifice bunt by Chad Hinshaw, was driven in on a single by Jake Thornton for the game's first run. It was the first of three hits for Thornton, and the first of two runs Tokarski would score in the contest.
Illinois State added two more runs in the fourth after back-to-back hits by Ty Wiesemeyer and Ryan Court to lead off the inning set up RBI situations for Zach Amrein and Chad Hinshaw. Amrein pushed across Wiesemeyer with a sacrifice fly and Hinshaw singled in Court after the Bluejays intentionally walked Tokarski to get the freshman to the plate. The Redbirds scored two more runs on Creighton starter Brandon Koenigstein (3-1) in the sixth to take a 6-0 lead.
Sorkin (3-1) faced just one over the minimum through the first three innings and two over the minimum through five. The freshman from Buffalo Grove, Ill., fanned two batters in the first three innings but relied on his defense by inducing five ground balls through the first three innings. Sorkin got a lift from his catcher Matt Mirabal, who caught Trever Adams trying to swipe second in the first inning, and got a 6-4-3 double play after walking the leadoff man in the second.
Zane Hinkel doubled with two outs in the third inning for Creighton's first hit, and later reached second in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch and moving over on a wild pitch. He was the only Bluejay player to reach second safely in the contest. Sorkin induced another double play ball with two runners on in the sixth. Court fielded the chopper at third, stepped on the bag and threw across the diamond to end the inning. Court had five assists in the game, including a throw from his knees after diving to the left to end the eighth.
Sorkin struck out three in the seventh - the third reaching on a dropped third strike - and left the game after reaching his pitch count. Verbeke entered the game and struck out Ian Dike, the only batter he faced in the game. Long pitched a scoreless eighth and retired the first two batters of the ninth before walking two batters. Bowens replaced Dike and cracked a bases clearing triple before Clay Cuno flied out to left to end the game.
Thornton (3), Court (2), Tokarski (2), Anthony Ruffolo (2) and Ty Wiesemeyer (2) all had multiple hit games for the Redbirds. Wiesemeyer's double to lead off the fourth was his first hit as a Redbird.
Adams had two of three hits for Creighton off Sorkin. Hinkel and Bowens also had hits for the Bluejays. The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m., with left-handed freshman Ty Blach starting for Creighton against an undetermined starter for Illinois State.
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