Creighton and Indiana State played a series earlier this season in Omaha, with the Jays posting a shutout on Sunday to avoid a series sweep. Creighton dropped the series opener 3-6 before falling short 2-0 in 12 innings in the Saturday game. In that game, Erik Mattingly threw 9.0 complete, no-hit innings but earned no decision as the Sycamores put up a pair of runs in the 12th. The Bluejays won the series finale 8-0, just one of two shutouts from the pitching staff this season.
The Bluejays will likely face-off against junior Dakota Bacus (7-3), who has earned a spot as the Friday night starter for the Sycamores. In the first game earlier this season between the two teams, Bacus surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 8.0 innings. He did strike out seven batters, throwing 121 pitches in his fifth win of the season. Chris Machado shut the Bluejays down in the final inning, earning his second save of the year.
Creighton is slated to throw junior Ty Blach, who has put together his best pitching as of late. Blach has a pair of complete games in his last four outings and threw 7.0 scoreless innings Thursday against Wichita State, retiring the final 15 batters of the game. Blach had a rough outing in the first meeting between the Jays and Sycamores this season, surrendering a season-high five earned runs on six hits and allowed three walks. The southpaw did strike out seven in the loss, his third of the season.
Creighton will be in the A bracket, joined by the No. 1 seed Indiana State (41-15, 14-7), the No. 4 seed Illinois State (31-17, 10-9) and the No. 5 seed Evansville (31-25, 10-11). Bracket A will have the No. 2 seed Missouri State Bears (37-18, 13-7), the No. 3 seed Wichita State (35-23, 12-9), the No. 6 seed Southern Illinois (28-27, 9-12) and the No. 7 seed Bradley (26-25-1, 8-13).
The opening game of the tournament will pit Illinois State against Evansville on Tuesday, May 22 at 9:00 am, followed by Creighton and Indiana State at 12:30 pm. Game three will put Wichita State against Southern Illinois at 4:00 pm with Missouri State 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 26.
Follow the Jays
All games through the MVC Tournament's opening rounds can be watched live on MVC Live, with a link on the www.gocreighton.com website. Creighton and Indiana State can be heard on Tuesday afternoon on 1180 KOIL, with John Bishop and David Gustafson calling the game.