Bluejays Battle Braves as Baseball Returns to MVC Action
OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton baseball returns to MVC play as the Jays host Bradley for a three game set, April 5 -7.
4/5: Bradley @ Creighton - 6 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
4/6: Bradley @ Omaha - 2 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
4/7: Bradley @ Creighton - 1 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
Radio Broadcast: 1620 KZOT (Friday & Sunday)
Radio Broadcast: 1180 KZOT (Saturday Only)
Live Stats: www.gocreighton.com
Twitter: @GoCreighton, @cu_baseball
Last Time Out
Creighton took three of four games over the past week, earning two victories over Omaha last weekend and taking a single game at Kansas on Tuesday.
Friday, April 5 - Sunday, April 7
After a week out of Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play, the Jays host Bradley in a three-game set this weekend in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
The radio broadcasts of Creighton Baseball can be heard throughout the weekend. John Bishop and Dave Gustafson have the call for all three contests, beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. on KOZN 1620 the Zone. Saturday’s game will be carried on KZOT 1180 Zone2 at 1:45 p.m., while Sunday’s broadcast returns to 1620 am at 12:45 p.m.
Following the Bradley series, Creighton will begin its annual battle with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Tuesday, April 9 at 6:35 p.m. in Lincoln, followed by a single game with Air Force on Wednesday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m..
Head Coach: Elvis Dominguez (Fifth Season):
Record at Bradley: 97-135-1
Overall Record: 275-334-3
Dominguez’s Connection to Creighton
Dominguez was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, but fled the country with his family as a child in settled in Miami. A standout baseball player, Dominguez put his athletic talents to good use by earning a baseball scholarship to Creighton University, helping him become the first member of his family to attend, and ultimately graduate, college. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Creighton in secondary education in 1986.
A four-year starter at shortstop for the Bluejays, Dominguez led the team with a .348 batting average as a senior.
Following graduation, Dominguez began his coaching career with the Bluejays in 1986-87 by serving as a graduate assistant for Jim Hendry.
After being promoted to a full-time assistant coach during his second year on the Creighton staff, Dominguez earned his first head-coaching job in 1988 as Omaha Central High School’s varsity baseball coach. He returned to Creighton in the fall of 1992 as the Bluejays’ top assistant, working as the infield instructor and hitting coach for five seasons (1993-97). Dominguez also served as Creighton’s coordinator for recruiting, scheduling and academic advising, while also assisting with budget management and fundraising.
Dominguez left Creighton in the summer of 1997 to join the coaching staff at the University of Iowa, where he again served as the infield and hitting instructor through the 2001 campaign. During his four years with the Hawkeyes, Dominguez also was responsible for scheduling, recruiting and fund-raising. In his role as recruiting coordinator, Dominguez’s first class at Iowa produced two All-Americans.
Jays vs. Bradley
Creighton holds a 69-44 series edge on Bradley, taking eight of the last nine meetings. Bradley took the series opener last season in Peoria, Ill., but the Jays battled back to claim the series with victories in the final two contests. Coach Servais is 27-7 versus Bradley in his career.
Last three seasons vs. Bradley
April 16, 2010 W, 7-5
April 17, 2010 L, 4-8
April 18, 2010 W, 12-3
May 26, 2010 W, 6-5
April 29, 2011 W, 7-3
April 30, 2011 W, 10-1
May 1, 2011 W, 16-6
May 25, 2011 W, 4-1
May 4, 2012 L, 1-3
May 5, 2012 W, 7-4
May 6, 2012 W, 4-2
Scouting the Braves (11-13, 1-2)
Bradley’s season got off to a difficult start as the Braves dropped nine of their first 12 games. A six-game winning streak appeared to right the ship, but Bradley dropped four straight after evening their record at 9-9. The Braves are riding a modest two game winning streak coming into the weekend, including their first MVC win over Evansville in the series final last Sunday.
The biggest concern for Bradley has been starting pitching. The Braves weekend starters (David Koll, Stephen Toma, John Nasshan and Eric Scheurmann) have allowed 98 runs (75 earned) in 120.2 innings for a combined ERA of 5.59. As a team the Braves have a 6.22 ERA, issuing 107 walks in 207 innings.
Offensively the Braves have done an admirable job, hitting .313 as a team. The trio of Mike Tauchman, Greg Partyka and Max Murphy lead Bradley with a combined 66 RBI. A speedster, Tauchman has a team-best .427 average with 41 hits and 16 stolen bases.
Finding a Way on
Freshman Reagan Fowler has reached base safely in all the Jays’ 21 contests this season, while sophomore Jake Peter has a 13-game streak of his own.
Steaking at the Plate
Peter holds the Jays longest hit-streak of 2013, a 10 gamer which is ongoing.
Freshman Nick Highberger and sophomore Mark Lukowski have taken the reigns of Creighton bullpen, posting ERAs 0.59 and 3.71 respectively.
Higberger has allowed just one run in 11 appearances (15.1 innings), including a scoreless streak of 7.2 innings in his last six appearances. Lukowski, meanwhile, has allowed just two runs in his last six outings (11.2 innings).
Gerber’s Blast Rattles Jayhawks
Down 1-0 in the top of the second on April 2, junior Mike Gerber launched his third blast of the season over the left field wall to tie the game at Kansas. Gerber’s blast left Kansas starter, Tanner Poppe, a bit rattled as he surrendered four more runs in the frame, leading to the Jays’ 6-4 win.
Fitzgerald Making a Case to Stay Put
Getting an opportunity to start the last four games at DH & 3B, freshman Ryan Fitzgerald has made the most of his chance, hitting .286 with three runs scored and three RBI. The Illinois native (Burr Ridge) is 4-for-14 and also has drawn two walks.
Mitchell Lights up Omaha
Backup catcher Jerry Mitchell entered Saturday’s game at Werner Park against Omaha (UNO) 1-for-14 in his career. The Nevada native (Las Vegas), however, thrived in the home of the AAA Omaha Royals. Going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
Murphy Moving on Up
Senior Brennan Murphy made his first appearance in the two hole on Saturday, March 30. The Oklahoma City native is enjoying the heightened view, hitting .333 (4-for-12) with two runs scored and two stolen bases.