OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton Baseball returns to MVC action looking to take down the first place Illinois State Redbirds this weekend in Normal, Illinois.
Past The Jays fell to Kansas State in a midweek battle on Tuesday, April 30th, 6-3.
Present Creighton begins a pivotal stretch of its Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) season with three games at Illinois State over the weekend (May 3-5).
Future Following the series with the Redbirds, Creighton returns home for a single game with South Dakota State, then heads to Wichita for another critical series with the Wichita State Shockers.
Jays vs. Illinois State Creighton holds a 71-34 series edge on Illinois State, including a 21-7 mark under coach Servais. The Jays took both meetings between the two teams in the MVC Tournament last season and have won five of the last six battles with the Redbirds.
Scouting the Redbirds (28-16, 9-3 MVC) Illinois State opened the season and MVC play with a brief stumble, but have found its stride since. The Redbirds dropped six of their opening eight games of the 2013 season, but have rebounded to win 26 of 36 since. The opening weekend of MVC play followed a similar path as Illinois State dropped two of three to Wichita State, but has taken eight of the next nine conference games to surge into first place.
The biggest difference for the Redbirds has been starting pitching. Opening the season as the Illinois State closer, senior Chris Razo has taken over as the Friday night starter over the past month. Razo has a 1.25 ERA and a 5-0 record in 50.1 innings. Behind him, sophomore Dan Savas and Brad Sorkin have created a dominate starting trio. Savas is 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA, whil Sorkin is 6-4 with an ERA of 3.44.
Offensively Illinois State has been solid throughout the season. The Redbirds are hitting .290 as a team, led by a .381 mark from senior Eric Aguilera. The outfielder leads Illinois State with 67 hits, 21 combined extra base hits and a .591 slugging percentage. His seven home runs on the season are tied for not merely the team lead, but the most in the MVC. Aguilera is alone at the top of the conference in hits (67) and RBI (42).