Creighton (37-21) cut it to within one at the top of the ninth, but Southern Illinois (34-22) did enough early to stay alive in the tournament with a, 6-5, victory over the Bluejays.
CU started it off with a run in the top of the first. Robbie Knight moved base-to-base with a single, wild pitch, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly.
An Adam Hills single brought in Chris Murphy for SIU in the third. Mark Kelly homered to left field, a two-run shot, giving the Salukis a 3-1 lead.
Insurance runs came in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, and later proved valuable, as the Bluejays scored two runs in each the eighth and ninth. Aaron Roberts, Dean Cadermartori and Bret Maugeri singles each crossed a run for SIU.
Steve Winkelmann lifted a Tyler Choate pitch for a two-run home run in the eighth, keeping Creighton’s hopes alive and shortening the lead to 6-3. Pinch hitter Ian Dike sparked the Bluejays’ late inning rally with a lead off single ripped up the middle on an 0-2 count. Michael Lam reached on an error by the third baseman, sending Dike to third. Knight hit a sacrifice fly to plate Dike. Back-to-back singles from Eliot Soto and Darin Ruf, closed the score to 6-5, as Ruf’s hit brought in Lam. Choate zoned in and got Winkelmann and Vicente Cafaro to secure the win.
SIU starter Adam Curynski (5-1) earned the win, allowing one earned run on six hits and a walk, while striking out three. Creighton used five pitchers, but it was starter Greg Hellhake (3-2) that took the loss. The freshman lefty gave up three earned runs on six hits and two walks with four innings pitched.
SIU moves on to face the loser of the Wichita State and Missouri State game, at 7 p.m., Friday night.