Baseball Set to Play UCLA in NCAA Tournament

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2012 Creighton Baseball
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions

No. 4 Creighton Bluejays (26-28) at No. 1 UCLA (42-14)
NCAA Tournament First Round
9:00 CST • Jackie Robinson Field • Los Angeles, Calif.

Follow the Bluejays
    Creighton baseball earned a spot in the 2012 NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title for the second straight season.  The Bluejays (26-28) open play against the No. 2 overall seed and Region host UCLA (42-14).
    While the Los Angeles Regional was not chosen to be aired on ESPN3, there will be a live video feed available courtesy of the UCLA athletic department.  A link for that will be available on the website.
    John Bishop and David Gustafson will have the call all weekend for the Bluejays, with all games broadcast on KOZN 1620 the Zone - listen to pregame 15 minutes prior to the first pitch. 
    Live stats will be available through the website, as well as updates through Twitter by following @gocreighton and @cu_baseball.

    Creighton is 13-18 in postseason play in school history, including 5-12 since the 1991 team advanced to the only College World Series in program history.  The Jays also hold a 5-4 mark in the first game of a postseason Regional. The 2012 team will be looking to be the first Creighton team to make it to a super regional, as the current format was not set up when the Jays won the West I Regional in the 1991 season, advancing directly to the CWS.  Below is a listing of the Regionals and the finish:
    1973    NCAA District 5 Playoffs    0-2  
        (Four-team District at Tulsa, OK)
    1990    NCAA Central Regional    2-2  
        (Austin, Texas)
    1991    NCAA West I Regional    4-0  
        (Los Angeles, Calif.)   
            College World Series    2-2  
        (Omaha, Neb.)
        1992    NCAA Central Regional    1-2  
        (Austin, Texas)
        1999    NCAA South Bend Regional    0-2
        2000    NCAA Tempe Regional    0-2
        2005    NCAA Lincoln Regional    2-2
        2007    NCAA Fayetteville Regional    1-2
        2011    NCAA Corvallis Regional    1-2

And We’re Baaaaaaack
    Creighton features one of the nation’s most experienced teams, with 12 seniors and nine juniors on the roster. Twenty-one players were on last year’s team that made the NCAA Tournament, and 14 of those men appeared in at least one NCAA Tournament game last year in Corvallis.
    In addition, senior pitcher Shane Liska pitched in the three innings in relief for Xavier in a 2009 NCAA Tournament loss to Kansas State.

In the Valley
    The Missouri Valley Conference has recently moved up to the No. 5 RPI in the country, according to  The Valley got three teams into the tournament, with Creighton (automatic qualifier), joining regular season champion Indiana State and Missouri State in the field of 64.  Below is the conference RPI listings as of Monday morning:
    Conference    RPI    W-L     Automatic Bid
    ACC    .5744    216-77    Georgia Tech
    SEC    .5713    224-80    Mississippi State
    Pac 12    .5607    194-90    UCLA
    Big 12    .5458    172-96    Missouri
    MVC    .5364    166-96    Creighton
    C-USA    .5361    166-106    UAB
    Southern     .5260    152-110    Samford
    West Coast    .5256    151-116    Pepperdine
    WAC    .5247    133-105    Fresno State
    Big Ten    .5199    182-143    Purdue

Servais Magic
    Creighton is making its fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament under Ed Servais.  Servais’ clubs are 4-6 in that time, including wins over North Carolina State, one win over Albany and a win over Georgia in last year’s opening round. Servais is the only Creighton coach to take the baseball team to the postseason three or more times.

    The Bluejays will be making their second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament after an improbable run through the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, earning the league crown with a flawless 4-0 mark.  It marks the first back-to-back appearance in the tournament for the Bluejays since the 1999-2000 season, with the squad making three-straight appearances from 1990-1992.

Regulars... Almost
    Creighton will be heading to it’s 10th Regional in school history, the fourth under head coach Ed Servais.  The Jays went as the automatic bid after winning the 2007 MVC Tournament and received an at-large bid after the 2005 season, which they won the MVC Regular Season.

Seeds Are Overrated
    Creighton punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament after winning the MVC Tournament as the eighth seed. The Jays were the lowest seed to ever win the event, and join Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech as the nation’s only No. 8 seeds to win a league tournament title this year.
Of the 27 conferences with a league tournament, 13 were won by No. 1 seeds, four by No. 2 seeds, one by No. 3 seeds, two by No. 4 seeds, two by No. 5 seeds, on by a No. 6 seed, two by a No. 7 seed, and two by No. 8 seeded squads.

May The Four’s Be With You
• Last year two No. 4 seeds won their first NCAA Tournament game as Austin Peay defeated Georgia Tech, while San Francisco upended UCLA. Teams seeded fourth went 10-32 last year in the Regional round, including three wins from Regional finalist Oral Roberts.
• In the last five tournaments (2007-11), No. 4 seeds are 10-70 (.125) in their opening-round game against a No. 1 seed.
• In those five tournaments, No. 4 seeds are a combined 38-159 (.193) in Regional play, and 45-162 (.217) overall in the NCAA Tournament.
• If Creighton can win on Friday, it might make them a sleeper candidate to win the College World Series. Since 2007, the No. 4 seeds that win their first Regional game have gone on to win the CWS 10 percent (1-of-10) of the time. By comparison, the odds of winning the CWS for teams that won their Regional opener have been 4.3 percent for top seeds (3/70), 0 percent for second seeds (0/45) and 2.9 percent (1/35) for third-seeded squads.
• At least one No. 4 seed has advanced to the Regional final in every season since 2006, including two in both 2006 and 2009.
• The last No. 4 seed to advance to a Super Regional was Fresno State in 2008, which completed one of college sports biggest upset runs with a College World Series title.
• The last No. 4 seed to advance to a Super Regional after losing its first game of a Regional was the 2006 Missouri team.
• The 2006 Missouri and 2008 Fresno State teams are the only No. 4 seeds to advance to the Super Regionals since the current tournament format was adopted in 1999.

Everyone’s 0-0 At This Point
    Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament with a 26-28 record, one of two schools with a losing record entering Regionals (Sacred Heart is 25-30). In the last five NCAA Tournaments (2007-11), there have been 13 Regional qualifiers with a losing record. Of that group, only the 2009 Utah team has won a game. The Utes won a pair of contests, defeating Georgia Southern and Gonzaga and its second and third contests of the weekend at the Fullerton Regional.

Chip Off The Old Blach?
    Junior Ty Blach leads the nation with 20 starts on the mound this season, two more than his next closest challenger (UC Irivne’s Crosby Slaught). Last year, Michael Roth (South Carolina) and Kurt Heyer (Arizona) led the nation with 20 starts. Blach’s 20 starts tie a school record originally set by Mike Heathcott, who made 20 starts in CU’s 1991 season that culminated in a College World Series appearance.

Manufacturing Runs
    Creighton has hit just 15 home runs all season, and only one of those came in a home game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mike Gerber leads the club with four dingers this season. The Jays haven’t had a season without an individual owning seven or more homers since 1977, when Randy Eccker and Mike Shudak tied for the team lead with four each. Creighton’s offense ranks 61st of 64 teams NCAA Tournament teams with 15 home runs (ahead of only Prairie View A&M, Sacred Heart and Valparaiso), and is last of the 64 NCAA Tournament qualifiers with a .248 batting average.
Pants Up
    Baseball is a game of superstitions and the Bluejay baseball team is no different.  The team alwasy wears its pant legs down, but when they came out for the Illinois State game on April 28, every member of the team had their pant legs up.  Since that day, Creighton is 11-7 overall, hitting a combined .277.  Four Bluejays, Chance Ross, Nick Judkins, Mike Gerber and Brennan Murphy are hitting above .300 in that time span.

Take your Pick
    Pick your stat when it comes down to why Creighton’s offense has exploded in the run through the MVC Tournament.  The Jays hit .410 against left handed pitchers, .402 with runners on base, .624 successfully advancing runners and has 18 two-out RBI.

Lights Out Lefties
    The Bluejay starting lineup has been mixed between left and right handed batters all season, but last Wednesday agaisnt Illinois State the lefties led the way.  Nick Judkins, Anthony Bemboom, Mike Gerber, Jake Peter and Brennan Murphy combined for 12 of Creighton’s 16 hits on the day for the Jays.  Overall, the lefties were 12-21 from the plate with a double, triple and a home run.
    In the tournament, the lefties had 71-percent of the hits (36-of-51) and hit a combined .444 (36-of-81).

Happy 21st!
    Twenty-one years ago on Friday (June 1, 1991), Creighton made its College World Series debut with an 8-4 win over Clemson. The Bluejays would go 2-2 and tie for third in their only appearance on college baseball’s grandest stage.

Put It In Neutral
    Creighton has been one of the nation’s most dangerous teams on a neutral field in the past two seasons. The Jays went 4-2 last year on neutral field, and this season, the Jays are 4-1 at neutral sites, losing only to Portland in a game played in Longview, Wash., due to poor field conditions in Portland. Creighton owns just four errors in those 11 games at neutral sites, good for a robust .991 fielding percentage.

MVC Tradition
    The MVC annually has performed well in the postseason, winning at least one game every year since 1995, with one exception (2009). The 2008 Wichita State team is the Valley’s last team to make a Super Regional, while the 2003 Missouri State team is the Valley’s last representative to make it to the College World Series.
    Creighton’s only College World Series appearance came in 1991, an era that pre-dates Super Regional round play.

The Road (Back) To Omaha
    Located less than a mile from the Creighton campus, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha opened last April and is the home of the College World Series. The facility replaced the venerable Rosenblatt Stadium, which had housed the CWS since 1950.
    TD Ameritrade Park is also home to Creighton Baseball, which owns a 25-17 record all-time in two seasons at the facility.
    Creighton remains the only team to play in College World Series games at home, having done so in 1991.

Fan Favorites
    Creighton enters this week 10th nationally in average home attendance, averaging 4,268 fans per home contest in 2012. That includes two of the nation’s top three crowds of 2012, and four crowds over 9,500. Creighton ranked eighth nationally with 4,479 fans per home game.
The large crowds are nothing new for Creighton’s athletic department, as the Jays were also sixth in men’s basketball home attendance average (16,665) and seventh in men’s soccer (2,709) this year.
    Creighton is the nation’s only school to rank in the top-15 in both baseball and men’s basketball home attendance, the only school to average more than 2,500 fans at both baseball and men’s soccer this year.

Defense Wins Championships
    There’s an old adage that championships are won with pitching and defense, and those are two characteristics associated with Creighton baseball under Ed Servais.  In the nine years under Servais, Creighton owns the nation’s fewest errors with just 463 miscues, 54 fewer errors than second-place Dartmouth in that same span.
     Additionally, Creighton’s .9769 fielding percentage under Servais also leads the nation, ahead of second-place South Carolina (.9751).  The Jays are eighth in the nation this season with a .979 fielding percentage.
    Creighton also ranks 21st nationally with a 3.95 ERA in the nine years under Servais. Of the teams on that top-21 list, 19 of the 21 (all but Creighton & Oregon, who is a fourth-year program) have advanced to the Super Regionals since 2004, and 15 of the 21 have advanced to the College World Series (garnering six titles) in those years.
      Creighton’s three Rawlings Gold Gloves (including the only two-time winner, Darin Ruf), are also the most nationally since that program began at the collegiate level in 2007.

Valley High
    The nation’s No. 5-ranked league, the Missouri Valley Conference had three teams earn a bid in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. It’s the first time the MVC has owned three bids since 2000 (Evansville, Wichita State, Creighton), and fifth time overall (also 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2000).

MVC Tradition
    The MVC annually has performed well in the postseason, winning at least one game every year since 1995, with one exception (2009). The 2008 Wichita State team is the Valley’s last team to make a Super Regional, while the 2003 Missouri State team is the Valley’s last representative to make it to the College World Series.

California Dreaming
    Creighton Baseball has played in California just once previously in the NCAA Tournament, going 4-0 in the 1991 West I Region in games hosted in Los Angeles by USC. Creighton beat Pepperdine, Minnesota, USC and Hawaii to clinch the program’s only College World Series bid. Friday is the 21st anniversary of Creighton’s first CWS game, an 8-4 win over Clemson.

King Me!
    The Los Angeles Kings have earned national headlines for their inspiring play that saw them turn a No. 8 playoff seed into a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals, where the Kings will take on the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed, the New Jersey Devils.
    Creighton was seeded No. 8 in the MVC Tournament, and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a win in the finals over No. 6 seeded Southern Illinois.

Bemboom’s Got A Ring
    Senior Anthony Bemboom is seeking his second national title in three years, as he was a member of Iowa Western’s team in 2010 that won the Junior College World Series. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team at catcher, ahead of eventual No. 1 pick Bryce Harper, who was playing for the College of Southern Nevada.

Great Eight
    Creighton has really come to life in the past eight games on offense, defense and on the mound. The Jays are hitting .322 in those games and outscoring teams 46-29. The Jays have fielded at a .984 clip, and own a 3.12 ERA. CU’s starting pitching has been even more sparkling, allowing just nine earned runs in those eight games, good for a 1.79 ERA.

Put It In Neutral
    Creighton has been one of the nation’s most dangerous teams on a neutral field in the past two seasons. The Jays went 4-2 last year on neutral field, and this season, the Jays are 4-1 at neutral sites, losing only to Portland in a game played in Longview, Wash., due to poor field conditions in Portland. Creighton owns just four errors in those 11 games at neutral sites, good for a robust .991 fielding percentage.

Servais With A Smile
    Ed Servais will be making his fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, twice as many as any other baseball coach in program history. Jack Dahm and Jim Hendry both made two postseasons, while Dave Baker and Todd Wenberg had one appearance each.
    Servais owns a 4-6 record in the NCAA Tournament, including a 2-1 mark in opening-round games. He led CU to the 2005 Regional final, only to lose to host Nebraska.

Doing It With Defense
    Creighton did not have a player named first-team all-MVC this season, and just one man (Anthony Bemboom) earn second-team all-Valley accolades. However, CU did have three men named to the MVC’s All-Defensive team, as Chance Ross (3B), Mike Gerber (OF) and Nick Judkins (1B) all were honored for their work with the glove.

All-Tourney Picks
    Despite being ignored in the all-Valley voting, the Jays cleaned up on the MVC’s All-Tournament Team squad. Five men were named to the club, a group featuring Jake Peter (2B), Chance Ross (3B), Nick Judkins (UT), Brennan Murphy (OF) and Mike Gerber (OF). Gerber was named Tournament MVP after batting .625 (10-for-16) with seven RBI.

Comparing Title Teams
    Both the 2011 and 2012 Creighton teams won the MVC Tournament with near identical fielding percentage and ERA’s, but drastically different records. This year’s Creighton team owns a .979 fielding percentage and a 3.42 ERA, but a 26-28 record. By comparison, last year’s team owned a .979 fielding percentage and a 3.50 ERA after 54 games, but was 40-14.
    The biggest difference has been with the offense. Last year’s club was hitting .274 and owned 291 runs and 37 homers at this point, while this year’s team hits .248 with 15 home runs and 247 runs scored to date.

Major Leaguers Play Here
    Creighton owns 18 Major Leaguers all-time, a list headlined by Bob Gibson, Alan Benes, Dave McKay, Dennis Rasmussen and Scott Servais. An eight-time All-Star, Gibson was a first ballot Hall of Famer (1981) who earned two Cy Young awards (1968, 1970), one National League MVP (1968), nine Gold Gloves and two World Series MVP accolades. Also a standout on the hardwood, Gibson actually played a year with the Harlem Globetrotters before making the wise decision to play professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
    Creighton also boasts seven alumni currently in the minors, including ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte (AAA-Yankees), and infielders Darin Ruf (AA-Phillies) and Jimmy Swift (AA-Angels).

Making History
    The baseball team is the program’s fourth squad to make the NCAA’s this year, joining the men’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams.  Creighton is one of two schools nationally to reach the NCAA Tournament in men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball during the 2011-12 school year. The Bluejays are joined on that list by Louisville.
    The men’s soccer team went 3-0-1 in the NCAA’s before falling in penalty kicks in the national semifinal of the College Cup to Charlotte in a game recorded as a tie. The Creighton men’s basketball team defeated Alabama in the second-round of the NCAA’s before falling to top-seeded North Carolina in Greensboro. The women’s basketball team nearly became the first No. 14 seed to ever win a game, falling 69-67 to St. John’s on a shot at the buzzer.
    Creighton is the first school in league history to win the MVC Tournament in baseball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the same season.
    Creighton’s success in 2011-12 joins the 2006-07 Creighton program as the only times in MVC history a school has won the Valley men’s soccer, men’s basketball and baseball tournaments in the same academic year.

Team Effort
    Creighton’s last three games showcase just how much of a team effort it took to win the MVC Tournament. Entering the MVC Tournament, Shane Liska, Erik Mattingly and Mark Winkelman each had one win on the year. Those three men matched those totals, each claiming their second victory on the mound when it mattered most in the Valley Tournament.

How’s This, For Starters?
    Three men in the Creighton line-up have started every game this year, Chance Ross, Nick Judkins and Mike Gerber. Judkins has started all but one game since transferring in before last season, while Ross has started all 115 games in that same time.
    Ross is seeking to become CU’s first player to start every game on back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams since Vince Pietro started all 124 games during CU’s back-to-back tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000.

Gerber’s No Baby
    Mike Gerber was a torrid 10-for-16 (.625) with seven RBI in four wins at the State Farm MVC Tournament, earning Most Valuable Player accolades in the process. It also continued a strong finish for the sophomore centerfielder.
    After 30 games this year (April 10th), the preseason all-Valley pick was hitting at a .176 clip with just 10 runs scored and 16 RBI. Gerber shook out of his cold spell with a 3-for-3 game vs. South Dakota State on April 13th, and has been red-hot ever since. He’s hitting .337 in CU’s last 24 games, scoring 15 times with 19 RBI.

Murphy’s Law
    Rightfielder Brennan Murphy flirted with the Mendoza line for the first half of the season, and was hitting a paltry .189 with three walks and three RBI in 25 games after an April 7 loss to Indiana State. Since then, Murphy is hitting .323 with 11 walks and seven RBI in his past 23 outings.
    Murphy hit an even .500 to earn all-MVC Tournament honors, and is batting .524 in his past seven games.

Taking The Fifth
• Creighton is 10-5 in its last 15 games, and has dominated two key innings in that time.
• Creighton has outscored foes 9-1 in the first inning during that stretch, a key factor since the Jays are 14-5 when scoring in the first inning, but 1-7 when allowing a first-inning run. For the year, CU has outscored opponents 37-13 in the first frame, and is 21-9 when scoring first.
• In the last 15 games, the Jays have outscored foes 23-3 in the fifth inning, knocking out five different starting pitchers in the fifth frame. CU has scored in the fifth inning in each of the last five games, and eight of the past nine.

It’s Was Good to be Back
    A Creighton baseball team hasn’t made a trip to California since 2000, when the Bluejays took part in the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic held at Fresno State.  In the final year of participation, the Bluejays went 5-1, with wins over Bowling Green (4-1), Temple (15-0), Fresno State (12-3), Gonzaga (11-2), and UNC-Asheville (5-3), before dropping the final game to host Fresno State 5-1.
    The Bluejays finished the Spring Break Trip to California 4-4, taking two-of-three in both weekend series, but falling in the two midweek games at California and Sacramento State.

Quick Hits
• Creighton is 9-13 in road games this season, hitting .228 in true road games.  Not a single everyday starter is hitting over .300 outside of Omaha.
• The Bluejays are hitting .333 in games played at neutral sites this season, holding a 4-1 mark.  Mike Gerber leads the Bluejay regulars in neutral site contests, hitting .556 with a .778 slugging percentage.
• Head coach Ed Servais, the winningest coach in Creighton baseball history, picked up his 500th career win in the 8-1 win over Nebraska on Tuesday, May 8.  In his 18th year of coaching, Servais is 508-275-1.
• The 26-28 mark for the Bluejays could prove to be the first sub-.500 season for Servais in his ninth year at Creighton.
• The Bluejays put together their first five-game winning streak of the season from May 5-May 11, out scoring opponents 47-30 and holding a .275 combined average.
•  The pitching staff held opponents to a 1.40 ERA in the five-wins, while Bradley, Nebraska, Nebraska-Omaha and game one against Dallas Baptist pitchers combined for a 4.93 ERA.
• The Jays finished the regular season conference schedule with six MVC wins this season, five of which have been won in Creighton’s final at-bat (8-0 win over Indiana State is the lone win they led in the final frames).
• Rain not only canceled the third game of the series between Creighton and Illinois State, it also forced the teams to play a doubleheader on Saturday.  Rain has canceled four games already this season and forced the Jays to play doubleheaders in back-to-back conference series (Southern Illinois and Illinois State).
• Creighton has posted three shutouts this season, two of which came at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha (a 2-0 win over BYU and the 8-0 win over Indiana State).  The third came on Ty Blach’s one-hitter in the MVC Tournament opening round game.  On the flip side, the Bluejays have been shut out six times this season, more than the last five years combined.
• The 15-innings it took to win the game against Illinois State (4/28) marked a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record for innings in a single game.  It also marks Creighton’s longest game since 1989, when the Jays defeated Kansas 7-5 in a 16-inning game.
• Creighton set a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record on Tuesday, April 3, by hitting seven doubles in a single game.  The previous best at the park was six, hit by Creighton in a 16-6 win over Bradley on May 1 of last season.

At The Plate
• Creighton has struggled offensively this season, coming into the NCAA Tournament with just one starter hitting over .300.  Nick Judkins has flirted with the .300 mark all season, and is sitting at .308 into the weekend.
• The Bluejay offense picked up during the five-game win streak (May 5-May 9), hitting a combined .275.  Scott Thornburg led all hitters with a .438 average through the five games, all at the designated hitter spot.
• Creighton’s bats exploded in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, combining for a .357 batting average and .448 slugging percentage.
Mike Gerber led the Bluejays offensively in the MVC Tournament, hitting .625 in the four wins and scoring six runs.  The sophomore had a .667 on-base percentage and .875 slugging percentage.
• As a team, the Bluejays have driven in 89 two-out RBI, led by Chance Ross (16) and Anthony Bemboom (14).
• Eight of Creighton’s 15 total home runs have come on the road this season.  The Bluejays hit just one at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, with the final six coming in a doubleheader played at the CU Sports Complex against North Dakota (3/17).
• The lone Bluejay home run at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha was hit by Alex Staehely on March 31 against Evansville.
Chance Ross hit in the winning run in the 15-inning win over Illinois State on April 28.  Ross has 31 RBI this season, while Mike Gerber leads the team with 35 RBI, including seven in the MVC Tournament last week.
Mike Gerber became the first Bluejay since Darin Ruf in 2008 to hit a grand slam.  Gerber drove one out in the first inning of the 12-3 win over North Dakota.  Gerber leads the team with three home runs, as well.
Brennan Murphy was a perfect 3-3 in stolen bases while in California and now sits 6-7 on the season.  Chance Ross leads the Bluejays at 14-19 on the season. The school record for stolen bases in a season is 52, but a player hasn’t stolen more than 27 bases since 2002.

    On the pitcher’s mound, six different Bluejay pitchers have made starts this season.  Ty Blach, Erik Mattingly and Shane Liska have turned in impressive performances to earn spots in the starting rotation.  Mattingly put together a 9.0 inning, no-hit effort in the Saturday, April 7 12-inning loss to Indiana State, while Liska picked up his first win as a Bluejay in the 8-0 shutout of Indiana State, April 8.  Blach has been best as of late, putting together a pair of complete game outings in his last two Friday night starts.  Mark Winkelman leads the staff with 35 appearances on the season, holding a 1-1 record in relief on the mound.

• The pitching staff has surrendered 63 extra-base hits in true road games this season, including 48 home runs, five triples and 10 doubles.  As a staff, they have only allowed 54 at home.
• The Bluejay bullpen holds a 4.46 ERA away from home this season, while the starting rotation is combining for a 4.31 ERA on the road.
Chase Webb leads the Creighton pitching staff on the season, holding a team-low 2.51 earned run average in 30 appearances, but has just one win this year.
Ty Blach leads all starters with 20 starts on the mound this season, holding a 6-5 record with a 2.64 ERA.
Ty Blach threw his first career 9.0 inning, complete game against Dallas Baptist on Friday, May 11.  It marks the second straight Friday night start the southpaw has thrown a complete game.
• Blach turned around and threw 7.0 scoreless innings against Wichita State in his start on May 17, surrendering just three hits and surrendering the final 15 straight batters he faced.
• Blach threw his third complete game of the season in the opening game of the MVC Tournament against Indiana State, surrendering just one-hit in the shutout.
Ty Blach finished the Missouri Valley Conference regular season without recording a win as the Friday night starting pitcher.  Saturday starter Erik Mattingly also fell in the same boat.
• The Creighton pitching staff had a combined 0.50 ERA in the first two games at home this season, allowing just one earned run in the two games combined. 
• The Creighton pitching staff finished the MVC opening weekend with a 5.25 ERA, the highest in a single weekend this season.
Ty Blach and Reese McGraw have each been named MVC Pitchers of the Week already this season.
• Freshman Mark Lukowski made his first appearances on the mound in California; Lukowski tossed a pair of innings at Sacramento State and Pacific.

Blach’d Out
• As a team, the Bluejays has not homered in any of Ty Blach’s 20 games started this season.
• Creighton is 12-8 when Ty Blach starts this season, and 14-20 when anyone else starts on the mound.
• Of Ty Blach’s 20 starts this season, he was in line for the win 13 times when he wrapped up his day on the mound, and he left another game with a tie score, yet is owns a 5-5 record.
Ty Blach has allowed 0 or 1 earned run in 12 of his 20 starts this year, and 25 of his 49 career starts.                   

• In his career, Ty Blach is 8-4 in his May starts, including a 72/22 strikeout/walk ratio in 92 innings of work. He is 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA this May.

Move Him Up
    Bluejay first baseman Nick Judkins has started all 54 games this season at first base, hitting primarily in the three-hole (40 times in the third spot, eight in the second and four as the clean-up batter).  But on the season, Judkins leads all Bluejays as a leadoff batter.  He has 23 hits in his 48 chances, good for a .479 average as a leadoff.
    Chance Ross has been the Bluejay leadoff batter in 44 of the 54 games, and holds a .417 average when leading off an inning.
    Brad McKewon led off the lineup for all the games at the MVC Tournament, moving Nick Judkins up to second and Chance Ross into the three-hole.

This and That
• The last time a Creighton team dropped five straight games prior to 2012 was May 8 - May 15, 2009. 
• Creighton lost five straight games between March 23-30.  They enter the series with Wichita State with four straight losses.
• The Bluejays loss against Nebraska Omaha on March 27 was the first loss in 10 games against the Mavs.
• The last time Creighton scored just five runs in four consecutive game combined was to close out the 2003 season, when the Jays beat Bradley 2-0 in a pair of game, lost to Missouri State 5-1 and to Indiana State 2-0 in the MVC Tournament.  Creighton scored just five runs from March 23-27, 2012.

Flip Flop
    Creighton finished the 2011 regular season as the MVC champions, finishing conference play with a 15-6 record.  A series loss to Wichita State last weekend ensured the Jays of finishing in eighth in the league.  There have only been two other times a team has gone from the top of the league to the bottom in back-to-back seasons:
    Team            Won    Last
    Missouri State        2009    2010
    Southern Illinois        1984    1985

May Flowers
    The Bluejays are 10-6 so far in May, holding a 3-3 mark in conference with the series win at Bradley and the series loss against the Shockers.  The Bluejays are hitting .288 collectively during the month, with Mike Gerber and Nick Judkins leading all players with a .345 and .328 average, respectively.  Creighton is out scoring opponents 84-54 during the month and holds a .981 fielding percentage.
    On the pitching mound, Andrew Urban (7.1 innings) and Brandon Koenigstein (2.0 innings) are the lone Jays who haven’t surrendered a run in the month.  The staff holds a 3.03 ERA in May.
    Ty Blach has been the most effective pitcher during the month of May, holding opponents to a .178 average with a 1.70 ERA in his 37.0 appearances.  In six starts, Blach has three complete games and one shut out.

    Creighton tied a single-inning high in the win over Illinois State in the semifinal game of the MVC Tournament (5/24), putting together five runs in the eighth inning to secure the lead and earn the win.  Creighton also had five consecutive hits in the win over UNO on Wednesday, May 9.
    The Bluejays added a five-run inning in the final regular season series with Wichita State, pushing across five runs in the bottom of the eighth to break the tie and earn the win, 7-3 in the first game of the series (5/17).

Jumping on Top
    The Bluejays have now scored first in 30 games this season, including three of the four games of the MVC Tournament.  The Jays are 21-9 when scoring first, but just 5-19 when opponents score first.
    Creighton has scored in the first inning at home eight times this season and 19 times overall this year.  The Jays are 14-5 when scoring in the first inning of a game.

We Put Together Five…
• Creighton’s 5-0 streak marked the longest win streak of the season for the Jays, besting the previous three-game streak set twice. 
• Five different Bluejay pitchers had a 0.00 ERA, with Ty Blach (10.0 innings), Shane Liska (6.0 innings), Chase Webb (5.0 innings), Brandon Koenigstein (2.0 innings) and Andrew Urban (1.0 innings) all helping the team to a 1.40 overall ERA.
Reese McGraw had a 2-0 record, striking out four in 5.2 innings of work.
Ty Blach also put together a 2-0 record, including his 9.0 inning complete game against Dallas Baptist (5/11/12).
• The Jays hit .275 collectively, led by Scott Thornburg, Mike Gerber and Anthony Bemboom who are hitting .438, .412, and .350, respectively.
• Eight different Bluejays started and played in all five games, with Brennan Murphy and Jordan Makovicka splitting time in the final position.
• Creighton out scored opponents 46-30 in the five wins, out hitting opponents by nearly 100 points (.275 to .190).

Five Centuries
    Bluejay head coach Ed Servais surpassed another coaching milestone this season, picking up his 500th career win in the 8-1 win over Nebraska on May 8.  The skipper eclipsed his 300th win at Creighton in the 2012 season opener, and is the winningest head coach in Creighton baseball history.

Offensive leader
    Senior catcher Anthony Bemboom led the Bluejays offensively in the Missouri Valley Conference series at Bradley, helping propel the Jays to their first Valley series win of the 2012 season.  Bemboom hit .400 on the week, leading the team with four hits, including a 3-3 day in the 4-2 win on Sunday.  Bemboom had a team high .455 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage in the three games.

Weekend Warrior
    Reese McGraw pitched flawless innings at Bradley (5/4-5/6), picking up a pair of wins in his two appearances.  McGraw finished the weekend with 3.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out two batters and not issuing a free pass all weekend (no walks or hit batters).  He lowered his ERA to 2.80 at the end of that weekend.

Dodged that Bullet
    Creighton won the final two games of the series at Bradley, giving the Jays their first MVC series win of the season.  It also gave Creighton a pair of Valley wins on the road, their first two of the season.  You have to go back to 1984 to find the last time the Jays failed to win a single Valley game on the road.

Until the Fat Lady Sings
    Creighton earned five conference wins this season, four of which came in the final at-bat for the Bluejays.  Creighton defeated Evansville 3-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning at home, while also winning 6-5 over Illinois State in the bottom of the 15th inning.  The Jays put up four runs in the ninth on Saturday for a 7-4 win and two in the ninth on Sunday for a 4-2 win, both against Bradley. 
    The Jays closed out the regular season against Wichita State, again needing to win the game in the final at-bat.  After Creighton led 2-0 early, the bullpen surrendered a pair of runs before Creighton put up five runs in the eighth to claim a 7-2 win in the opening game of the series.

You Just Stay There
    One way to keep a spot in the Creighton bullpen is to limit the runs you allow to cross the plate.  The staff has come into the game with 99 runners on base this season, allowing just 32 of them to score. 
    Below is the list of bullpen pitchers and their inherited runners scored.
    Player    Inherited    Scored
    Ryan Knott    1    1
    Brandon Koenigstein    4    1
    Shane Liska    7    1
    Erik Mattingly    2    0
    Reese McGraw    9    3
    Nick Musec    5    0
    Kurt Spomer    14    5
    Andrew Urban    3    2
    Chase Webb    29    7
    Mark Winkelman    25    12

Not Just Another Number
    The Bluejays came from behind against Illinois State to win 6-5 in 15-innings on April 28.  It marked the first time this season Creighton has won a game when trailing after the eighth inning, with Creighton accomplishing the same feat at Bradley (5/5).  In fact, the last time Creighton did that was on April 3, 2011, when the Jays  were down 3-2 to Portland and put up a pair of runs in the ninth to win. 
    Under Ed Servais, Creighton is just 8-133 when trailing after the eighth inning, and hold a 245-11 mark when leading after the eighth inning.
He Does it All
    Erik Mattingly made his first start as a position player against Illinois State (4/28) since starting in the outfield on March 27 against Nebraska-Omaha.  He has made six starts on the mound and one as designated hitter during the last month.
    Overall on the season, Mattingly has made starts in four different positions: 10 at pitcher, five each as both the left fielder and designated hitter, and three in right field.

One for the Nice Guy
    Ty Blach finished conference play without a win this season, as he picked up the loss in his 8.0 innings of work last weekend against Bradley, marking the first complete game for the Bluejays this season.  He earned a no-decision in his 7.0 shutout innings against Wichita State, as the Shockers scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth.
    Blach finished the 2012 season with a  0-4 mark in the Valley after finishing 2011 with a 4-1 conference record.

An Unlikely Hero
    Michael Blatchford was called upon in the bottom of the 15th inning against Illinois State on April 28, picking up a one-out single that started the rally to win the game 6-5 for Creighton.  It marked Blatchford’s first appearance since March 4, when he injured his knee sliding into second at UC Davis.
    Creighton skipper Ed Servais then turned to Sunday starter Shane Liska as a pinch runner, and the Xavier transfer crossed the plate with the game-winning run on Chance Ross’ single to center.

Using the Staff Well
    All three of Creighton’s weekend starters made appearances in game one against Illinois State on April 28.  Ty Blach started on the mound, Eric Mattingly started in right field, and Shane Liska made a pinch-running appearance in the 15th inning. 
    The Bluejays used 21 different players in game one: five pitchers, five pinch hitters, a pinch runner all in addition to the starting lineup.

Double Duty
    Creighton has now played in three doubleheaders this season, and has swept one (vs. North Dakota), been swept in one (Southern Illinois) and split the two games against Illinois State.

Eight is Great
    Ty Blach threw 8.0 complete innings of work in the game on Friday at Bradley (5/4), allowing three runs, but not walking a single batter.  It marks the sixth time in his career the junior has gone for 8.0 innings, although he did it just once last season.  The six outings, including hits surrendered and strikeouts, are listed below:
    Date    Opponent    K    Hits
    5/4/12    at Bradley    3    6
    2/24/12    at Portland    2    2
    2/20/11    vs. Missouri State    8    4
    4/4/10    vs. Indiana State    4    5
    4/18/10    at Bradley    6    6
    4/25/10    at Missouri State    6    6

Make them Earn It
    While the Creighton pitching staff has shown its depth and power both at times this season, the one thing it has been best at is limiting the amount of walks issued.  Creighton leads the league with just 155 walks issued this season. The Bluejays sit in the middle of the Valley in hit-batters, plunking 44.
    The pitching staff combined to allow just two walks in the wins over Nebraska (5/8) and Nebraska Omaha (5/9), and just two in the mid-week game this week against Iowa (5/15).
    Creighton’s combined season high for walks in a single game came against Illinois State, 4/28, when they walked eight batters.

What a Relief
    Bluejay relievers Reese McGraw, Chase Webb and Kurt Spomer each put up scoreless innings to close out the 15-inning win over Illinois State on April 28.  McGraw started things off with 2.2 innings on the mound, allowing just two hits while striking out two.  Webb followed with 2.0 innings, also surrendering a pair of hits but not allowing any of the 11 batters faced to score.
    Spomer picked up his first Valley win of the season, closing out the game with 3.0 flawless innings on the mound.  The senior struck out one batter and did not surrender a single hit in his 22nd outing of the season.
    The trio combined to throw 7.2 innings of three-hit baseball at Bradley.  

Inning by Inning
• The Bluejays are 22-2 when leading after five innings, but are 4-20 when trailing after the fifth inning.
• Creighton is 2-6 on the season when scoring three runs, but flips that around and is 8-4 when allowing opponents to score exactly three runs.
• The Bluejays have scored their most runs in the  fifth inning, pushing across 38 in the frame.  The Jays have now scored 11 runs in the ninth inning, thanks to two the first time they played Nebraska (4/10) and four in the comeback win at Bradley (5/5).
• Creighton is also surrendering the most runs late in the game, as opponents have scored 31 runs in the fifth, 30 in the seventh and eighth innings, as well as putting up 20 runs in the ninth.   Creighton is not surrendering single-digits to opponents in any frame.

In a Pinch
    While Creighton has struggled overall in pinch hit situations, Brad McKewon’s two-RBI single in the sixth inning on Sunday, April 22 helped keep Creighton in the series finale game at Southern Illinois.
    Michael Blatchford then became the hero in the win on April 28 over Illinois State, ripping a single to left field and hobbling down the first base line.
    The Jays are just 4-of-36 in pinch hit situations this season, a .111 average.  Blatchford and McKewon join Gabriel Thibodeaux and Petr Zyma on that list.
    Creighton did not use a single pinch-hitter in the final series against Wichita State, as all nine position players played all three games straight.

Smallish Ball
    The Bluejays hit a pair of home runs at Southern Illinois on Sunday, April 22 (a two run shot from Mike Gerber and a career-first from Jake Peter), marking just the second time this season the Jays have hit multiple home runs in a single game (also against North Dakota on March 17 - hit five).
    Creighton has 13 home runs all season, although six came in the doubleheader vs. North Dakota on March 17.
    The Bluejays had just one home run in the 20 games played at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in 2012 (Alex Staehely, March 31 vs. Evansville)

Uncharacteristic Errors
    The Bluejay defense had an uncharacteristic week in the infield, committing six combined errors in their three games from April 9-15 (including three the last game against Nebraska).  That accounted for over 20-percent of the Bluejays 28 errors at the time.  Creighton has 45 total errors this season.

The Best of the Best
    In the greatest pitching performance of his career, Bluejay pitcher Erik Mattingly went 9.0 innings without surrendering a hit and striking out three in his Saturday, April 7 start against Indiana State. The right hander hit one batter in the first inning and another reached by error, but Mattingly retired the rest of the Sycamore lineup in order in the 2-0, 12-inning loss for the Bluejays. Mattingly’s outing would have been the first nine-inning no-hitter in Creighton baseball history.
    Mattingly was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, as well as picking up MVC Pitcher of the Week honors.

    Bluejay junior shortstop Alex Staehely has played in every game since stepping on campus at Creighton, and until Sunday, April 15, had started every game (144) straight.  Staehely was not allowed to start due to coaches decisions following an ejection from the game on Friday night against SDSU. 
    Petr Zyma was put in the starting lineup for the first time, starting at second base while Jake Peter moved over to shortstop.
    Staehely came into the game in the third inning, first as a pinch-hitter and then returning to his position at short.

Doubling Up
    Creighton set a new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha record with seven doubles in the win against Kansas on Tuesday, April 3.  The Bluejays have twice hit five doubles this season (at Portland and at Pacific), but hadn’t hit more than one in a game since March 17 against North Dakota. 
    It also marked the biggest doubles output in a single game since they also hit seven doubles against Wichita State on May 8, 2004.
    As a team, Creighton hit 14 doubles that week, led by Nick Judkins’ four.  Chance Ross, Alex Staehely, Jake Peter and Scott Thornburg each had two doubles on the week.
    Freshman Jake Peter led the team with two doubles against Kansas.  Peter had four doubles in his first five games, but just one in the next 18 before the April 3 game.
    It marked the third time this season a single player has hit a pair of doubles in a game, as Scott Thornburg hit two against Portland and Judkins had a pair against Indiana State.

Keeping Up With the Joneses
    The Creighton baseball program carries a great deal of tradition, including players that are still playing in the Minor Leagues.  Seven former Bluejays are still active, with one playing AAA ball, three in AA and the rest in A ball.
    Pat Venditte    AAA    Yankees
    Darin Ruf    AA    Phillies
    Elliott Soto    AA    Cubs
    Jimmy Swift    AA    Angels
    Kirk Clark    A+    Astros
    Jonas Dufek    A    Astros
    Trever Adams    A    Rangers

D-D-D-D Fence
    The Creighton baseball team has always been known for their defense, sitting in the top-10 since head coach Ed Servais took over the Bluejay program.  Currently, the Jays are eighth in the nation with a .978 fielding percentage, which is tied for second in the conference.
    Year    Fielding %    Place
    2012    .979    8th
    2011    .981    5th
    2010    .980    4th
    2009    .980    2nd
    2008    .976    3rd
    2007    .974    8th
    2006    .965    87th
    2005    .972    17th
    2004    .982    1st
    2003    .962    103rd

Free Baseball
    The Bluejays have already been a part of five extra inning games this season, defeating Central Arkansas 7-3, falling 3-2 at Portland, winning 3-2 against Evansville and falling 2-0 in 12-innings against Indiana State.  The Bluejays have played at least four extra inning games the last five years, with six extra frame games in each of the last three years.

Been Here Before
    2012 doesn’t mark the first time the Bluejays have started with an 11-11 mark.  In fact, Creighton has had worse starts in the Ed Servais tenure.  Below are the first 22 games, along with the complete record at the end of the season in the last 10 years:
    2012    11-11    26-28 as of (5/29)
    2011    17-5    45-16 overall
    2010    14-8    27-25 overall
    2009    8-14    31-25 overall
    2008    15-7    37-21 overall
    2007    13-9    45-16 overall
    2006    17-5    31-21 overall
    2005    17-5    48-17 overall
    2004    12-10    35-24 overall
    2003    7-15    20-37 overall
    2002    11-11    30-24 overall

Stellar Stats
    Brad McKewon was the bright spot in the Bluejays offense over the opening MVC weekend at Missouri State, leading the Jays with a 5-for-11 (.455) performance from the plate in the conference opening weekend.  The sophomore outfielder was the lone player to record three hits in a game on the weekend, putting up a three-spot in the Friday night game.  McKewon had a .455 slugging percentage, and used a walk to aid his on-base percentage, safely reaching .500 percent of the time.  McKewon put down one sacrifice bunt and was 1-1 in stolen bases on the weekend.

Valley’s Best
     Creighton baseball senior Anthony Bemboom was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday.  It marks the first time the senior from Sauk Rapids, Minn., has earned the award.
    Bemboom led the Bluejays offensively last week, picking up a team-high eight hits and scoring five runs to lead the Jays to a 4-1 week.  In the five-game home stand, Bemboom hit .471, starting all five games.  He had a .824 slugging percentage, picking up 14 total bases on the week thanks to three doubles and a home run.  Bemboom went a perfect 4-4 from the plate with a pair of singles, a double and a solo home run in the 16-3 win over North Dakota on Saturday afternoon.  The senior did not strike out on the week, the only Bluejay in the starting lineup to accomplish the feat last week.  He led the Bluejays with a .550 on-base percentage with three walks.

Offensive Explosion
    The Bluejays put up a combined 28 runs on 27 hits in the doubleheader wins over North Dakota on Saturday, March 17. It is the largest output of runs in two consecutive games since 2006, when the Jays scored 30 runs in wins over Belmont and Tennessee Tech.
    The game marked the lone return of the season to the CU Sports Complex, the former home of the Creighton baseball team.

Ain’t Life Grand
    Sophomore Mike Gerber hit Creighton’s first grand slam since 2008 (Darin Ruf) in the win over North Dakota on Saturday, March 17. The Bluejay center fielder had seven home runs last season in his rookie campaign and has three this season.

Keeping Our Bags Packed
    Even though the weather in Omaha had been unseasonably warm, with temperatures making it into the 60’s on some days and the snow off the field, Creighton opened up the 2012 season with 13 straight road games.  The Bluejays spent time in Arkansas, Oregon, and a week in California, traveling 8,629 miles.

Omaha to Conway, Ark. and back        1160 mi.
Omaha to Portland Ore. and back        2732 mi.
Portland, Ore. to Longmont, Wash. and back     96 mi.
Omaha to Sacramento, Calif.     2688 mi.
Sacramento, Calif. to Berkeley, Calif. and back     156 mi.
Sacramento, Calif. to Stockton, Calif.     48 mi.
Stockton, Calif. to San Francisco, Calif.     83 mi.
San Francisco, Calif. to Omaha     1666 mi.

The Top of the Charts
    Ty Blach was tabbed the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week following the opening weekend of play, the first time in his career he has earned the award.  Blach picked up the first win on the mound in 2012, striking out six batters in 5.0 innings of work on Friday, Feb. 17.

Give Us Another
    Reese McGraw was named the MVC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 28, after the second weekend of play.  McGraw made a pair of appearances on the weekend at UC Davis, each one a scoreless affair on the mound.  The right-hander picked up his first save of the season in the 7-6 win on Friday, tossing 2.0 scoreless, hitless innings in relief.  He struck out a pair of batters and faced just the minimum in his two innings.  In the win on Sunday, McGraw threw another 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball, surrendering just two hits and striking out one to pick up his second win of the season (2-1).

Not Getting Overtime
    The opening game between the Bluejays and  Portland Pilots on Friday, February 24, was on pace to be one of the quickest games in the last three seasons for the Bluejays, as Ty Blach and Kyle Kraus were at the seventh inning stretch just 1:17 into the game.  It helped that Blach threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of the 28 batters he faced.  Below are the five fastest recorded games in the last three seasons for the Jays:
Date    Opponent    Pitcher of Record    Time
3/19/11    vs Valparaiso    Jonas Dufek    1:25
5/6/11    at Wichita State    Ty Blach    1:36
6/3/11    vs Georgia    Jonas Dufek    1:50
4/27/10    Air Force    Jack VanLeur    1:54
4/25/10    at Missouri State    Ty Blach    1:57

Clearing the Bullpen
    Creighton used seven pitchers in the two games at Portland (Feb. 24-26), tossing five different Jays in the rain-delayed second game.  On the opening weekend, the Jays used 10 different pitchers in the three games, none tossing more than 5.0 innings.  Below shows the innings pitched per player over the first weekend.
Ty Blach    8.0    1.12
Brandon Koenigstein    3.1    8.10
Chase Webb    2.1    0.00
Reese McGraw    1.2    5.40
Kurt Spomer     1.0    9.00
Nick Musec    0.2    0.00
Mark Winkelman    0.2    27.00

Switching it Up
    Creighton used three different defensive starting lineups on opening weekend, as Ed Servais looks to find the perfect combination.  Brad McKewon, Anthony Bemboom and Erik Mattingly all saw time in left field, while Michael Mutcheson and Jake Peter were each in at second base.  Bemboom and Scott Thornburg split catching duties through the weekend.

Big Dog
    Ed Servais became the winningest coach in program history last season, surpassing both Jim Hendry and Jack Dahm to post a 321-193 overall record at the helm of the Jays.  He now is in the top-20 in winning percentage among active head coaches, holding a .623 overall record.  Servais was also named the MVC Coach of the Year, picking up the honor for the fourth time in his first eight years at Creighton.

Offseason Pays Off
    Nick Judkins was named to the All-Star team of the Northwoods League this summer, Judkins hit .309 with a .414 on-base percentage for the Mankato MoonDogs and has continued his success at the start of this season.
    Judkins finished the opening weekend 4-for-12 (.333) from the plate, scoring three runs and driving in three. His two-run home run put the Bluejays on the board first in the final game of the series, the first round-tripper of the season for the Jays. Judkins added a double and finished with a .667 slugging percentage to add to his .429 on-base percentage. Judkins was one of three Bluejays with a stolen base on the opening weekend. The senior also played flawless defense, error-free in 31 chances at first base.

New Kids On The Block
    Andrew Urban became the first fresh face to make it into the starting rotation since Ty Blach earned a spot as the Sunday starter midway through his freshman season (2010).  Urban is the first junior college transfer to start in the rotation since Jeremy Hauer started in 2008-09 (Hauer transferred from Indian Hills, Urban from Hutchinson CC).
    Jake Peter earned his first start on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Central Arkansas, finishing 1-2 from the plate, while playing second base.  Peter drove in a run and picked up his first collegiate base hit in the same at-bat.  Alex Staehely, who has made the switch to second base, also started at second base as a true freshman.
    Making his first appearance for the Bluejays on opening weekend was Shane Liska.  The graduate student and transfer from Duke tossed 0.2 inning in the Sunday, Feb. 19 game, striking out one and hitting a batter.
    Replacing Trever Adams in right field, Brennan Murphy started every game on the weekend, finishing 4-for-12 with an RBI and two runs scored.  He also finished 2-for-2 on the basepaths to pace the Jays on the first weekend
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