Fayetteville, Ark. -- Steve Winkleman belted his fifth home run of the season and had a career-high six RBI to lead Creighton to a 21-11 victory over UAlbany in the second round of the NCAA Baseball Championship’s Fayetteville Regional before 2,681 fans on Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.  The Blue Jays, ranked 20th nationally as the Missouri Valley Conference champion, advanced in the loser’s bracket.

            The two teams combined for 32 runs, 34 hits and 19 walks and used 13 pitchers in the four-hour-and-18-minute offensive marathon.  The Great Danes, who won the America East Conference championship to earn their first-ever NCAA berth, finished with a 29-29 record. UAlbany fell to No. 11 Arkansas, 9-0, in this double-elimination regional’s first round.

            “This is an experience that this team will never forget and a huge step in the development of our program,” UAlbany coach Jon Mueller said.  “We didn’t pitch or play good defense today.  You have to give yourself a chance, especially when you are playing teams at this level.  But I am not going to let what happened the last two days ruin what these guys have accomplished.”

Creighton (45-15) led 3-2 after five innings, but then broke the game open with a six-run sixth.  With one out, catcher Chris Gradoville tripled off the wall in the right-field corner before Darin Ruf was hit by a pitch.  Winkelman then hammered a hanging curveball over the left-field fence, a three-run blast.  The Blue Jays, who sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame, added a pair of homers off reliever Sean Gregory.  Andrew Small hit a solo shot, his fifth of the year.  Brett Mieras followed with an inside-the-park home run, when he drove a breaking pitch off the left-field padding near the 375-sign.

UAlbany took a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat.  Al Barbato, who scored three runs and doubled, walked on four pitches, before Leo Corvino sacrificed him to second.  Steve Wyland’s infield single moved Barbato to third.  Tom Hill then lined a ball off the pitcher’s heel that drove the run across.

The Blue Jays, who lost to Oklahoma State, 6-4, in the opening round on Friday, tied the contest in the second when Mieras doubled with two outs.  After UAlbany starter Cory Warrings issued a pair of walks to load the bases, Mieras scored on a fielders’ choice play.  In the third, Warrings allowed two more walks and Mieras, a junior designated hitter who had four hits with two runs and four RBI, singled up the middle past Barbato to drive across tye go-ahead run.

Creighton extended its lead to 3-1 in the fourth.  Lead-off hitter Robbie Knight tied an NCAA record when he was hit by a pitch for the 33rd time this season.  He later scored on Winkelman’s sacrifice fly to deep center.  The Great Danes sliced that deficit in half with three consecutive singles in the fifth.  Sean Donovan drove in the run by going the opposite way through the left side.

UAlbany trailed 17-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth, but batted around in scoring six times.  Sean Doyle delivered a RBI single before Donovan walked with the bases loaded.  Mike Konstanty added a two-run double into the left-field gap.  Wyland, who walked and scored in the uprising, finished with three singles and two runs.  The senior third baseman finished his career ranked third on the school’s all-time hit list with 211.

-agate-

Creighton (45-15)                    011      106      354      -           21        21        3

UAlbany (29-29)                     100      011      062      -           11        13        5

            Zac Moore, Scott Reese (5), Casey Schmidt (6), Ty Johnston (8), Chris Marchildon (8), Bob Lackovic (8) and Chris Gradoville, Brett Mieras.

            Cory Warrings, Sean Gregory (4), Alexander Beaulieu (6), Chris Ott (7), Jeff Kaier (8), Casey Walsh (8), Marco Rivera (9) and Tom Hill, Sean Doyle.


                            The Automated ScoreBook
                              Creighton vs Albany
               Jun 02, 2007 at Fayetteville, Ark. (Baum Stadium)

Creighton 21 (45-15)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Knight cf................ 4 2 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 Knox cf................. 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 Sinclair rf.............. 7 1 2 2 0 0 2 0 4 Gradoville c............. 3 3 2 0 1 0 7 0 3 Ruf 1b................... 2 3 0 1 4 0 7 0 0 Winkelmann 3b............ 4 3 3 6 0 0 3 2 2 Ogden ss................. 6 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 2 Small lf................. 6 3 4 2 1 0 4 0 0 Mieras dh................ 6 2 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 Lam 2b................... 5 1 2 0 2 1 2 2 3 Moore p.................. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 Reese p................. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Schmidt p............... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Johnston p.............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Marchildon p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Lackovic p.............. 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Totals................... 45 21 21 18 11 1 27 8 18

Albany 11 (29-0)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB ------------------------------------------------------ Barbato, Al 2b........... 2 3 1 0 3 0 4 3 1 Corvino, Leo rf.......... 4 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 3 Wyland, Steve 3b......... 4 2 3 1 2 0 0 1 2 Hill, Tom c.............. 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 Doyle, Sean ph.......... 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 Donovan, Sean ss......... 4 1 2 2 1 0 2 1 1 Halloran, Zac ss........ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Konstanty, Mike lf....... 5 0 1 2 0 2 2 0 2 Sayre, Steve 1b.......... 4 0 1 0 0 1 8 0 1 Koegel, Dan ph.......... 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 West, Dave cf............ 2 1 0 0 1 2 5 0 0 Marchese, Phil ph....... 2 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 Wood, Chris dh........... 3 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 Zink, Tom dh............ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Warrings, Cory p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Gregory, Sean p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Beaulieu, Alexander p... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Ott, Chris p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Kaier, Jeff p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Walsh, Casey p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Rivera, Marco p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals................... 39 11 13 10 8 8 27 8 12

Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Creighton........... 011 106 354 - 21 21 3 Albany.............. 100 011 062 - 11 13 5 -------------------------------------------

E - Knox(1); Gradoville(4); Lam(4); Barbato, A.(12); Hill, T. 2(8); Donovan, S. 2(13). DP - CU 1. LOB - CU 18; ALBANY 12. 2B - Gradoville(15); Mieras(8); Barbato, A.(17); Konstanty, M(8). 3B - Gradoville(2). HR - Winkelmann(5); Small(3); Mieras(1). HBP - Knight; Sinclair; Gradoville; Ruf; Barbato, A.. SH - Gradoville(4); Winkelmann(15); Corvino, L.(3). SF - Winkelmann 2(8); Ogden(4); Mieras(1); Corvino, L.(3). SB - Lam(1); Wyland, S.(9). CS - Sinclair(3).

Creighton IP H R ER BB SO AB BF ----------------------------------------------- Moore............... 4.1 6 2 2 2 6 19 23 Reese............... 1.0 0 1 1 3 1 2 5 Schmidt............. 1.2 1 0 0 0 0 5 6 Johnston............ 0.1 2 4 4 2 1 3 5 Marchildon.......... 0.0 2 2 2 1 0 2 3 Lackovic............ 1.2 2 2 1 0 0 8 8

Albany IP H R ER BB SO AB BF ----------------------------------------------- Warrings, Cory...... 3.0 2 3 3 6 0 12 20 Gregory, Sean....... 2.2 6 5 5 1 1 11 15 Beaulieu, Alexander. 1.0 5 4 2 0 0 9 9 Ott, Chris.......... 0.1 2 4 4 1 0 3 5 Kaier, Jeff......... 0.2 2 1 1 2 0 2 6 Walsh, Casey........ 1.0 4 4 0 1 0 7 10 Rivera, Marco....... 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Win - Schmidt (6-1). Loss - Warrings, C. (3-5). Save - None. WP - Moore(4); Johnston 2(2); Warrings, C.(6); Beaulieu, A. 2(2); Kaier, J.(1). HB - Moore; Warrings, C.; Gregory, S.; Ott, C.; Walsh, C.. BK - Moore(1).

Umpires - Home:Greg Howard 1st:Bruce Ravan 2nd:Steve Mattingly 3rd:Jim Garman Start: 2:39 pm Time: 4:06 Attendance: 2681 Game: GAME58 Game notes: ID-551764