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Five Baseball Players Earn MVC Scholar-Athlete Accolades

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Ty Blach headlines the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete honorees, the lone player on the first team to earn a unanimous vote on the list.  The group of 24 men (12 on each the first team and honorable mention), voted on by the leagues sports information directors, was announced on Thursday morning. 

Blach is joined on the first team by Bluejay senior Nick Judkins, with Chance Ross, Alex Staehely and Chase Webb being named honorable mention.

A junior from Centennial, Colo., Blach picks up his second first team Scholar-Athlete nod in as many seasons, compiling a 3.86 cumulative gpa in financial analysis.  Blach saved some of his best pitching for the end of the 2012 season, throwing four complete games in the final month of the season.  Blach finishes his junior season with a 2.69 ERA, holding a 6-6 record in an NCAA-leading 21 starts.  He limited opponents to a .219 average against, striking out 83 batters.

Blach was drafted in the fifth round of the MLB First-Year Players Draft on Tuesday, being picked up by the San Francisco Giants.  Should he forego his final season of college baseball, he will leave with a 2.78 ERA, second on the Bluejay all-time charts.  He is also sixth in career innings pitched (297.2) and eighth in career strikeouts (241).

Judkins was named to the 2010 MVC Scholar-Athlete honorable mention squad, earning first team nods this season with a 3.51 GPA in marketing.  The senior, who came into Creighton as a middle infielder, has turned into one of the top defensive first basemen in a storied Bluejay program, committing just two errors in his two seasons for a .998 fielding percentage in 1,249 chances.  He was named to the initial all-defensive team this season in the Valley for his play at first base.  Judkins led the Bluejays offensively all season, finishing with a .313 batting average.  He had a team-leading 71 hits, while striking out just 26 times, a low among the Bluejay everyday starters.  Judkins joined teammate Anthony Bemboom on the All-Regional team, also earning All-Tournament team honors following the MVC Tournament.

Judkins will leave Creighton with his name scattered on the Creighton all-time charts, including his record setting 22 sacrifice bunts in 2011.  He sits second and third on the season-charts for putouts, with 602 (2012) and 598 (2011).  Those two combined place Judkins fifth in career putouts with 1,200.

A native of Park Hill, Okla., Ross holds a 3.30 GPA in marketing at Creighton, picking up his first MVC Scholar-Athlete award this season.  He finised the 2012 season with a .301 batting average, surging in the final weeks of the season to finish tied for second on the team with 36 runs driven in.  He was named to the inaugural all-defensive team in the Valley this season, also earning All-Tournament team honors following the MVC Tournament. 

A 2011 MVC first team Scholar-Athlete honoree, Staehely holds a 3.63 GPA in accounting and finance.  The Sugar Grove, Ill., native closed out the 2012 season with a .207 batting average, playing in all 58 games this season.  Staehely led the Bluejays with 12 sacrifice bunts this year, also picking up two sacrifice flies.  He went 2-3 in stolen bases, holding a .268 on-base percentage.  A defensive leader, Staehely started 57 games at shortstop this season, holding a .959 fielding percentage.

Webb turned into one of the Bluejays most dominating set-up pitchers this season, holding a team-low 2.35 ERA on the mound.  In 32 appearances, 46.0 innings of work, Webb surrendered just 12 earned runs on 28 hits, holding opponents to a .181 average against.  He held 20:11 strikeout to walk ratio on the mound.  Webb, a Tulsa, Okla., native, has a 3.51 cumulative GPA in applied physical analysis.

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