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Courtesy: Eric Francis

Bluejays Open MVC Baseball Tournament With Sycamores

OMAHA, Neb. - The 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Tournament begins on Tuesday, April 21 as the two-time defending champs, Creighton, takes on Indiana State at 9:00 a.m.

MVC Tournament Bracket A
(No. 2 Wichita State, No. 3 Creighton, No. 6 Indiana State, No. 7 Southern Illinois)
5/21: No. 6 Indiana State vs. No. 3 Creighton - 9:00 a.m. (Duffy Bass Field)
Radio Broadcast: 1180 KZOT

Live Video (Free): ESPN3
Live Stats for All Games:

Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday    ERA    W-L    App    GS    CG    SHO    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
ISU - Sean Manaea (Jr.-LHP)    1.47    5-4    12    12    1    0    73.1    49    17    12    27    93
CU - Tommy Strunc (Fr.-RHP)    4.11    7-2    13    13    0    0    70.0    50    32    32    39    55

MVC Tournament Schedule
Bracket A
Tuesday, May 21:
Game 2:     No. 7 Southern Illinois vs. No. 2 Wichita State - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 22:
Game 5:    Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser - 9:00 a.m.
Game 7:    Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner - 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 23:
Game 9:    Game 7 Loser vs. Game 5 Winner - 9:00 a.m.
Game 11:    Game 9 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner - 4:00 p.m.
Creighton Radio/Web Broadcast
The radio broadcasts of Creighton Baseball feature John Bishop and Dave Gustafson.  John and Dave’s call begins 15 minutes prior to game time. The first two games  of the MVC Tournament can be found on 1180 AM, while the remaining contests will be carried either on 1180 AM or 1620 AM.  The broadcast is streamed free of charge at www.gocreighton.com.

Live Streaming
The first four days of play at the MVC Tournament (May 21-24) will be available on ESPN3.com.
– ESPN’s web-based platform. The MVC Tournament Championship game

TV
The championship telecast on May 25 will be cleared live at 7:07 p.m. Central on FOX Sports Midwest (3.2 million homes), FOX Sports Indiana (1.2 million homes), FOX Sports Kansas City (1.6 million homes), FOX College Sports (68 million digital homes), Comcast SportsNet Chicago (4.759 million homes), DirecTV (Channel 671), Dish Network (Channel 418), AT&T U-Verse (Channel 748) and ESPN3 outside the league’s six-state footprint of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

The Road So Far
Entering the season with a roster packed with first year players, Creighton posted a 30-16 mark and a 13-8 record in the Bluejays final year as a member of the MVC.  

Now
The Bluejays open MVC Tournament as they did in three of the past four seasons, against Indiana State.  Last the season the Jays entered as the No. 8 seed, upsetting No. 1 Indiana State, 5-0.  This year it is Creighton that comes into the MVC Tournament as the favorite, the No. 3 seed.  

The Road Ahead
The Jays’ have an outside for an at-large bid, but need a strong performance at MVC Tournament to improve their case.  Creighton can make the point mute, by claiming its third straight MVC Tournament Title this week.  

Jays vs. Indiana State
Creighton leads the overall series with Indiana State, 73-55.  Indiana State won all three meetings in  the regular season and took two of three during the 2012 regular season.  Creighton, however, took the lone meeting in the MVC Tournament in 2012.  Coach Servais holds a 25-11 mark against Indiana State.

A look at Indiana State (24-23, 9-11 MVC)
The anchor of Indiana State has been junior left-hander Sean Manaea (5-4, 1.47 ERA).  Manaea’s numbers this season show why he is being discussed as a first-round  pick this June (93 Ks in 73.1 innings).  He has allowed just 17 runs (12 earned) in 12 starts this season. One concern however, may be Manaea’s health.  It is being reported by Indiana State beat writer, Todd Golden, that Manaea continues to be bothered by pain in his hip and could be a game-time decision versus the Jays on Tuesday.  

Offensively the Sycamores have struggled throughout the season, posting a team average of .255.  Indiana State has a trio leading the charge, seniors Koby Kraemer and Robby Ort as well as sophomore Landon Curry.  Ort and Kramer are two of the top three hitters (.311) & (.295) in the order for the Sycamores, while Curry is a speedster atop the Indiana State order with 19 stolen bases this season.

Déjà vu
Despite entering the 2013 MVC Tournament as the No. 3 seed, the Bluejays are experiencing some flashbacks in the same bracket with No. 2 Wichita State, No. 6 Indiana State and No. 7 Southern Illinois.  Creighton opened the 2012 MVC Tournament against Indiana State and starter, Sean Manaea, just as the Jays will this year.  Creighton downed Southern Illinois in the 2012 MVC Championship game and bested Wichita State in the 2011 MVC Championship game.

Peter One of 12 Finalists on Olerud Watch List
Sophomore Jake Peter was one of 12 Finalists on the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.  Jake leads the Jays with a .345 average, 67 hits and 35 RBI.  On the mound, Peter has six saves in 14.2 innings and a 2-1 record.  He has
issued only three walks and recorded 18 strikeouts.

A Sight for Sore Eyes
The Jays expect junior Mike Gerber to return to the lineup and to centerfield on Tuesday against Indiana State.  Since Gerber was sidelined prior to the game with Nebraska on April 26, Creighton has hit .240 as a team.  With Gerber in lineup, the Jays hit .303 in 31 games.

With Gerber:       22-9    Team BA (.303)
Without Gerber:   8-7    Team BA (.240)

Creighton’s Magic Number Could Be Three
The Jays are 30-7 when scoring at least three runs.  Creighton is 0-9 if it only puts two runs or less up.

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