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The Creighton baseball team continues its 14-game road trip at Charlotte and Kansas
Courtesy: Eric Francis

Baseball Travels to Charlotte for Three, Then Heads to Kansas

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team continues its 14-game road trip at the onset of the 2014 season as the Bluejays go to Charlotte for three (Feb. 28 - March 2) and Kansas for a single-game on March 4.

The Road So Far
Creighton got on the winning track,
taking two of three games from Minnesota in Fort Myers, Fla.  The Bluejays dropped the first game, then rallied two take the Saturday game, 11-4, and earned an 8-0 win on Sunday.

The Bluejays face off with Charlotte in a three-game series in North Carolina from Feb. 28 - March 2.  Two days later Creighton plays its first midweek game of the season at Kansas on March 4.
Looking Ahead
Next week the Bluejays return to Arkansas to battle Arkansas State in a three-game set from March 7-9, then take on Central Arkansas on Tuesday, March 11.

Bluejays vs. Charlotte Series
The weekend series at Charlotte will be the first meeting between the 49ers and Bluejays on the baseball field.

About Charlotte

  • Located in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Charlotte has an enrollment of 26,571.
  • Known as the 49ers.
  • Charlotte finished 2013 with an 37-23 record and an 17-7 mark in Conference USA.  
  • Charlotte returned three field starters from its 2013 season.
  • The 49ers were picked to finish eighth in the 13-team conference.

Charlotte Head Coach: Loren Hibbs
  • Record of 671-513-3 in 22 seasons as a head coach at Charlotte.  
  • The longest-tenured coach in the Charlotte athletics department.
  • Led Charlotte to five NCAA Tourament appearances.
Scouting the 49ers: (2014: 2-3, 0-0 Conference USA)
Charlotte’s first four games of the season were washed away by poor weather.  As a result the 49ers opened the season on Feb. 18 at High Point, falling 4-3. Charlotte went on to take the first two games agaisnt Canisius last weekend, but fell in the series finale (10-1).  The 49ers also dropped a mid-week game to College of Charleston (5-2) on Tuesday.

Despite the 2-3 mark, Charlotte has an impressive 2.22 team ERA, allowing just 12 earned runs in five games.  The three hurlers Creighton is scheduled to face have allowed a combined two earned runs in 21.2 innings.

Bluejays vs. Kansas Series
The Bluejays hold a 22-10 series edge on Kansas, taking the last five meetings, including both games with the Jayhawks last season.  Coach Servais is 5-5 versus Kansas in ten career meetings.

Last three seasons vs. Kansas
February 22, 2011    W, 4-3
April 26, 2011        W, 5-3
April 3, 2012        W, 7-3
April 2, 2013        W, 6-4
April 16, 2013        W, 12--4

About Kansas
  • Located in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Kansas has an enrollment of 27,979.
  • Known as the Jayhawks.
  • Kansas finished 2013 with an 34-25 record and an 12-12 mark in the Big 12.  
  • Kansas returned six field starters from its 2013 season.
  • The Jayhawks were picked to finish ninth in the nine-team conference.
Kansas Head Coach: Ritch Price
  • Record of 582-529-3 in 20 seasons, including a 365-309-2 mark as the head coach at Kansas.  
  • Has led Kansas to seven 30+ win seasons and three 40+ win seasons.
  • Kansas appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2006 & 2009 under Price.
Scouting the Jayhawks (2014: 8-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Kansas is off to an 8-0 entering a four-game weekend series with Houston Baptist.  The Jayhawks opened the year by sweeping a four-game series from BYU, then went 4-0 in a tournament in Port Charlotte, Fla.

The game with the Bluejays on Tuesday, will be Kansas’ home opener.  Kansas is off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .318 as a team.  On the bump the Jayhawks have a team ERA of 3.84, allowing 32 earned runs.  One area the Jayhawks must be concerned about is free passes, issuing 23 walks on the season.  
Gerber Gives Grand Finale in Florida
Senior Mike Gerber provided a memorable ending for Creighton’s three-game stretch in Fort Myers, Fla. against Minnesota as the Bluejay centerfield delivered a grand slam in the ninth inning to seal Creighton’s 8-0 win on Sunday, Feb. 23.  Gerber was also the last Bluejay to deliver a bases-clearing bomb on March 17, 2012 against North Dakota.

Five Team For First Combined Shutout Since 2012
While Gerber’s blast took center stage for the offense, a quintet of Bluejays teammed to provide the first shutout of 2014 and the Bluejays’ first since 2012 on Sunday, Feb. 23. The first four hurlers were all underclassmen.

Freshman Jeff Albrect got things going with three scoreless frames. Sophomore Austin Groth followed with two innings, then sophomore John Oltman took the game into the seventh with 1.1 innings. Sophomore Nick Highberger followed with 1.2 innings, before giving way to senior Bryan Sova for a scoreless ninth.  The last combined shutout for Creighton came on April 8, 2012 as Shane Liska, Mark Winkelman and Kurt Spomer downed Indiana State, 8-0.
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