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Courtesy: Bluejay Banter

Baseball Hosts South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Wednesday

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team hosts South Dakota State on Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. Originally scheduled for March 20, the game was postponed by rain.

5/8: South Dakota StateCreighton - 6:30 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
Radio Broadcast: 1620 KOZN

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The Jays broke a season-long four-game losing streak with a 9-4 (11) win over Illinois State in the series finale on Sunday, May 5.

Creighton hosts South Dakota State in a rescheduled midweek contest on Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. The game was originially scheduled for March 20.  

Following the contest with the Jackrabbits, Creighton heads to Kansas for another critical series with the Wichita State Shockers (May 10-12).

Jays vs. South Dakota State
Creighton holds a 15-5 series edge on South Dakota State, including a 11-4 mark under coach Servais.  The Jays split two games with SDSU last season, but swept the Jackrabbits in 2011. Creighton is 12-5 against SDSU in Omaha.

Scouting the Jackrabbits (25-15, 10-6 Summit)
Like the Jays, South Dakota State has seen several games altered or lost due to weather issues.  Over the last 10 games, SDSU has earned seven victories and sits in second place in the Summit League (behind Nebraska-Omaha).  

Offensively South Dakota State is hitting .292 as a team.  Senior Daniel Telford leads the Jackrabbits with an astounding .507 average, but he has missed several games this season including the last four.  Telford is 37-for-73 and leads SDSU with 28 RBI in just 27 of the teams’ 40 games.

Another facet of SDSU’s offense is the running game, the Jackrabbits are 35-of-44 in stolen base attempts, led by nine from freshmen Zach Coppola and Paul Jacobson.

On the mound the Jackrabbits have a 3.20 ERA, issuing 122 walks and nabbing 274 strikeouts.  With a game on Tuesday, the starter for SDSU is unknown.   One option is senior LHP Shane Kraemer, who has a 5.88 ERA in nine appearances.  Kraemer is 2-1 this season, throwing 26.0 innings.

Ed Servais Baseball (ESB) = Defense
Since taking over as Creighton’s head coach in 2004, Ed Servais’ teams have committed the fewest errors in the nation (498).  The Jays also hold the top overall fielding percentage during that stretch, .977.  In 2013 Creighton is maitaining that pace with a .979 fielding percentage (32 errors in 1498 chances).

ESB Lesson Number 2, Fundamentals
Along with a focus on defense, Creighton has become known as a team that is fundamentally sound.  In 2013 the Jays are 4th in the nation with 68 sacrifice bunts, led by junior Federico Castagnini who leads is second in the NCAA with 0.47 bunts per game .

Bluejay Acorns

  • The Bluejays are 4-1 in midweek games, this however would be Creighton’s first Wednesday game.
  • The Bluejays are 10-4 in night games.
  • Creighton is 19-3 when drawing five or more walks.
  • The Jays are 13-1 when scoring in the first
  • inning & 14-1 when scoring first.
  • Creighton is 13-0 when Jake Peter pitches.
  • The Jays are 22-1 when outhitting their
  • opponent.
  • Creighton is 9-2 in freshman Tommy Strunc’s 11 starts.
  • The Jays bullpen is 15-5 with a 3.28 ERA and nine saves in 178.1 innings (65 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 six bunt singles and five outfield assists.
  • Mark Winkelman has 125 career appearances for the Jays, the rest of the Creighton bullpen (minus Strunc & Musec) has a combined 116 appearances (starts and relief).

11th-inning Magic
Creighton has needed extra innings just two times this season, but the Jays have owned the free baseball.  The Jays first extra-inning affair came on April 27 as Creighton scored one in the ninth and won the game with a run in the 11th.  On Sunday against Illinois State it was the Redbirds that extended the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but once again Creighton came through in the 11th.  The Jays dropped five runs on the Redbirds to earn the 9-4 win.

Putting in the Extra Effort
Creighton pitchers have held opponents scoreless in nine consecutive innings of free baseball.  The Jays have tossed up zeros in all four innings in 2013 and held Illinois State scoreless for six frames in the only extra-inning affair in 2012.  The last time the Jays surrendered a run after the ninth came on April 7, 2012 against Indiana State, a 0-2 loss in 12.

Clouthier Will Never Forget His First
Freshman Tommy Clouthier will not forget his first hit as a Bluejay.  The reserve infielder’s memorable moment was a three-run double in the 11th inning of the Jays’ 9-4 (11) win at Illinois State on May 7.

Warren Report
Matt Warren authored one of the best relief performances of the season on Friday, May 3 as the freshman hurler tossed a career-best 4.2 innings of relief.  Warren allowed just one unearned run on two hits against Illinois State after coming on in the third innning.

Peter Named to Olerud Watch List
Sophomore Jake Peter was one of 24 players named to the 2013 Olerud Award Watch List on Friday, April 26.  Jake leads Creighton at the plate with a .378 average and also has 2.63 ERA in 13 appearances this season.  

Injury Bug Bites Again
For the third time in 2013 the Jays are forced to play without a starter as junior Mike Gerber is out for until at least mid-May after a successful appendectomy on April 24.  Creighton lost junior Federico Castagnini and freshman Reagan Fowler for differeing four games stretches with a concussion.

Making the Most of Midweek Games
Limited to just five midweek games this season by inclement weather, Creighton has made the most of its opportunities by posting four wins.  The Jays have bested Kansas twice, SE Missouri State and North Dakota.  Creighton suffered its first midweek loss to Kansas State (3-6) on Tuesday, April 30.

Early Bird and All
The Bluejays are 14-1 this season when scoring first and are 13-1 if they score in the first inning.

Why Do We Fall? To Learn How to Pick Ourselves Up
After suffering just his first blown save of the season, sophomore Jake Peter helped his own cause with the game-winning RBI in the 11th on April 7.  Peter’s single opened the flood gates as Creighton tacked on five runs to claim a 9-4 (11) win over Illinois State.

Free Baseball is Peter’s Time
Peter has been instrumental at the plate in both his victories on the mound, both coming in extra innings.  On April 27, Jake tied the game in the ninth with an RBI single, then scored the game-winning run in the 11th.  He also supplied the game-winning RBI in the Jays’ 11-inning win on May 7.

ESB Over the Years
The 2013 Jays sit at 12th in the nation in fielding percentage.  If that number hold, it will be the first time since 2006 that Creighton has not closed the year in the top 10 of the NCAA

Year    NCAA Rank    Fielding Percentage
2004    1    .982
2005    17    .972
2006    87    .965
2007    8    .974
2008    3    .976
2009    1    .984
2010    2    .980
2011    4    .980
2012    8    .978
2013    12    .979

Lucky Number 13?
Peter is in the midst of a season-long 13-game hitting, dating back to April 13.  During that stretch, Peter is actually hitting a bit below his season average  (season at .378) at .362 with 21 hits in 58 at-bats.

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