OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton baseball team swept the Missouri State Bears over the weekend, giving the Jays their first MVC regular season championship since the 2005 season. The Jays (39-13, 15-6) earn the number one seed in the MVC Tournament next week, which will be played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha starting on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.
Creighton will take on the Bradley Braves in the final game of day one, pitting the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 8 seed. The two teams played a series earlier this season in Omaha, with the Jays sweeping the three games for the first time since 2007. Creighton won game one 7-3, game two 10-1 and game three 16-6, erasing a six run deficit to end the game in seven innings. The offense had it's best three game sequence of the week, picking up 39 hits on the weekend led by Trever Adams' 9-13 series.
The Bluejays will likely face-off against Nebraska native Joe Bircher, who has proven to be the Braves' opening ace this season. The south paw threw 5.0 innings in the first meeting this season, giving up four runs on eight hits. The Jays roughed up the Braves pitching staff in the opening meeting, with Nick Judkins, Jimmy Swift, Anthony Bemboom and Adams combining for 11-of-the-14 hits in the game.
Creighton is slated to throw Jonas Dufek, who has moved into the "Friday night starter" position for the Jays in the last two series. In his first outing against the Braves earlier this season, Dufek threw 8.0 innings, allowing just one run and striking out seven. Mark Winkelman picked up the final inning of work in that game, striking out one of the three batters he faced in the final frame.
Creighton will be in the B bracket, joined by the No. 4 seed Missouri State (31-21, 11-9), the No. 5 seed Southern Illinois (22-32, 11-10) and the No. 8 seed Bradley (22-30, 4-17). Bracket A will have the No. 2 seed Wichita State Shockers (36-24, 14-7), the No. 3 seed Illinois State (35-16, 13-8), the No. 6 seed Indiana State (26-26, 8-13) and the No. 7 seed Evansville (28-23, 7-13).
The opening game of the tournament will pit Illinois State against Indiana State on Tuesday, May 24 at 9:00 am, followed by Wichita State and Evansville at 12:30 pm. Game three will put Missouri State against Southern Illinois at 4:00 pm with Creighton and Bradley closing out the day with the 7:30 pm game.
There will be four games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, all double elimination. Friday's games will be played if necessary, should the team with a single loss beat the undefeated team in each bracket. The championship game will have a first pitch of 7:00 pm on Saturday, May 28.
The Missouri Valley Conference will televise the title game from the 2011 State Farm MVC Baseball Championship on Saturday, May 28, on Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox College Sports, Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Metro Sports.
On Saturday, May 28, Valley TV cameras will showcase TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb., for the 7:00 p.m. (CST) telecast. The title game will be shown live at 7:00 p.m. 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 (56 million digital homes), DirecTV (Channel 671), Dish Network (Channel 418) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 748). The game will be carried on a tape-delay basis at 1 a.m. on May 29 by Comcast SportsNet Chicago (4.759 million homes).
Fans can also follow the State Farm MVC Baseball Championship on MVC Live, the conference's new video streaming program. MVC Live is a partnership between the Missouri Valley Conference and WebStream Productions - the creators of the highly-acclaimed Horizon League Network. Live game action from a television-like production including multiple cameras, graphics and professional announcers will be available the banner below for all games leading into the televised final on FSN. To view, click on the homepage banner on www.mvc-sports.com and register.
Each team will have the opportunity to practice for 60 minutes Monday, May 23, on the field at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, beginning at 8 am with eighth-seeded Bradley. Those practices are open to the public and media. Beginning at 8 am, the public can enter through Gate 1 (behind home plate, on the corner of 13th and Cuming Street). The club/suite entrance, located just south of Gate 1, will also be open for those needing handicap-access. TD Ameritrade Park Omaha parking lots will be closed the general public on Monday, and fans are advised to park west of the stadium to have nearest access to Gate 1.
Practice Times Monday, May 21 at TD Ameritrade for MVC Baseball Tournament
Seed 8 Bradley 8:00 - 9:00 am
Seed 7 Evansville 9:15 - 10:15 am
Seed 6 Indiana State 10:30 - 11:30 am
Seed 5 Southern Illinois 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Seed 4 Missouri State 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Seed 3 Illinois State 2:15 - 3:15 pm
Seed 2 Wichita State 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Seed 1 Creighton 4:45 - 5:45 pm
The TD Ameritrade Park Omaha box office will be open Tuesday-Thursday beginning at 7 am each morning, would open at 10 am if games are necessary on Friday, and will open at 10 am on Saturday. The Qwest Center Omaha box office will be open on Monday.