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The Jays go for the two-game sweep of the Huskers on Tuesday night.
Courtesy: Bluejay Banter

Baseball Closes Out Non-Conference Season with Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team closes out its 2013 non-conference schedule looking to complete the series sweep of intrastate rival, Nebraska, at 7:00 on Tuesday, May 14.

5/14: Nebraska @ Creighton - 7:00 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)


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Probable Pitching Matchups
Tuesday                                        ERA    W-L    App    GS    CG    SHO    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
NU- Tyler Niederklein (Sr.-RHP)    5.16    0-1       11       4        0         0    22.2   21  15    13    23    14
CU- Matt Warren (Fr.-RHP)           3.18    2-2       12       5        0         0    34.0   30  16    12    11    15

The Road So Far
At 28-14, the Jays have won three of their last four games and sit in third place in the Missouri Valley Conference at 11-7.  Creighton took the series at Wichita State, winning the first two games with the Shockers.

The Bluejays battle rival Nebraska in the
second meeting between the two squads this season.  
Creighton took the first meeting (5-3) on April 26, but the Jays have not taken the series with the
Huskers since 2010.

The Road Ahead
The Bluejays close the regular season by hosting Missouri State for the Bluejays final MVC series in Creighton history.  Both teams will enter the game on Friday with an 11-7 mark in conference.  The team that takes the series is likely to finish third, while the losing team will place fourth.  

Jays vs. Nebraska
Located less than an hour apart, Creighton and Nebraska are familiar foes on the baseball field.
Nebraska holds an 81-42-2 series edge on the Jays, but Creighton has won the last two meetings.  
The Huskers took the three game series in 2011 & 2012 two games to one, while Creighton’s last
series win came in 2010 (also 2-1).  Coach Servais is
12-18 versus Nebraska in his career.  When playing in Omaha, the Huskers hold a 51-14-1 edge over the Bluejays.

Scouting the Huskers (23-26, 14-7 Big Ten)
Since the Husker and Bluejays first met on April 26, Nebraska has posted just a 4-6 record.  The Huskers, however, come into Tuesday’s contest following a
series win at Minnesota (two games to one), the site of the Big Ten Tournament next week.

As a team, Nebraska is hitting .284 on the season. Senior Chad Christensen remains the biggest threat in the order, leading the Huskers with a .372 average and 71 hits on the season.  Batting in the cleanup spot, Christensen also leads the team with 38 runs scored and eight stolen bases.

On the mound the Huskers have a combined 4.51ERA.  Senior Tyler Niederklein is expected to get the start versus the Jays.  Niederklein has a 5.16 ERA in 11 appearances.  He has thrown just 22.2 innings this season, issuing 23 walks and recording 14 strikeouts.  The Huskers, however, have gotten solid innings from their bullpen.  Specifically senior Dylan Vogt and sophomore Josh Roeder.  The duo have a 3.12 and 1.88 ERA respectively, appearing in 451 games combined.  Vogt leads the squad with eight saves, while Roeder has three.

Defensively the Huskers have been solid, posting a .982 fielding percentage with just 35 errors in 49 games.

First Nebraska vs. Creighton Meeting Critical
Since head coach Ed Servais took over for Creighton in 2004, the team that has won the first meeting between Nebraska and Creighton has taken the series  each season except 2009 when only two games were played. That season, the Jays claimed the first meeting (15-0), but fell in the second matchup (3-4). With the first schedule meeting between Creighton and Nebraska (April 9) washed out, Tuesday will be the final contest.  

Series Record since 2004:
2004: 1-2
2005: 2-3
2006: 0-3
2007: 2-1
2008: 0-3
2009: 1-1
2010: 2-1
2011: 1-2
2012: 1-2
2013: 1-0

Bluejay Acorns

  • The Jays are 14-1 when scoring in the first inning & 16-2 when scoring first.
  • Creighton is 20-3 when drawing five or more walks.
  • The Jays are 24-1 when outhitting their opponent.
  • The Bluejays are 28-6 when they score three runs or more, 0-8 when they don’t.
  • Creighton is 10-2 in freshman Tommy Strunc’s 11 starts. The Bluejays are 5-1 in midweek games.
  • The Bluejays are 12-4 in night games.
  • Creighton is 13-0 when Jake Peter pitches.
  • The Jays bullpen is 15-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 12 saves in 191.1 innings (67 ER) this season.  The 2012 bullpen went 13-10 with a 3.50 ERA and eight saves in 236.2 innings.
  • Senior Brennan Murphy leads the team with nine bunt singles and five outfield assists.
  • Mark Winkelman has 124 career relief appearances for the Jays, the rest of the
    Creighton staff has a combined 140 relief appearances.

TD Tidbits

  • Pitcher’s Paradise: In its brief history, TDAPO hasn’t been kind to hitters.  The combined average is just .243 (1627-of-6709).
  • Home Field Advantage: The Bluejays have started to learn how to take advantage of their spacious new home, in their 17 games at TDAPO this season, the Jays at hitting .311 (171-of-549).
  • No Fly Zone: In 102 games at TDAPO only 47 balls have left the yard.  There has never been a walk-off home run, nor back-to-back blasts. 
  • Staehely Skies: In 40 games in TDAPO over the past two season, Creighton has just two long balls.  Both courtesy of senior Alex Staehely on March 31, 2012 & April 19, 2013.
  • Don’t Call it a Comeback: Teams are a combined 86-2 when leading after eight innings. Creighton is 32-0 at TDAPO when leading after eight.  The Jays also own both victories when trailing after eight, including a 3-2 (11) win over Rutgers on April 27.
  • Free Baseball for the Fans:  Creighton is 5-1 in extra-inning games at TDAPO.

Young Guns Growing Up
Freshman Matt Warren recording the longest midweek outing under Servais is an example of how the Jays young pitchers have started to blossom this season.  Creighton’s seven freshmen have combined to record 12 wins in 2013.  In the last four seasons, Bluejay freshmen have combined for 11 wins.  

Freshman Wins Under Servais
2013:    12
2012:    0
2011:    0
2010:    5
2009:    6
2008:    4
2007:    6
2006:    2
2005:    1
2004:    2

Lucansky Delivers In a Pinch
When sophomore Landon Lucansky walked to the plate on Saturday in a 1-0 game at Wichita, Creighton was 1-for-34 (.029) in pinch hitting situations.  Bucking the trend, Lucansky stroked a single to third to drive in the eventual game-winning run for the Jays.

What a Difference a Year Makes
Last season the Jays closed MVC play with a 6-14 record, entering the MVC Tournament as the eight seed.  Creighton finished 2012 with a 28-30 record, including a spirited run into the NCAA Tournament.  This year the Jays have already equaled the 28-win mark and are assured no worse than a four seed when the MVC Tournament begins next week.

Unchartered Territory
Freshman Matt Warren’s 7.2 inning performance on Tuesday, May 8th was the longest midweek outing by a starter since head coach Ed Servais took over the Creighton program in 2004.


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