Creighton Baseball Wraps Regular Season With Missouri State

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Creighton hosts Missouri State in the Jays' final MVC Series.
Courtesy: Mike Spomer

OMAHA, Neb. - The Creighton Baseball squad hosts Missouri State in the Jays' final MVC Regular Season series beginning Thursday, May 16 at 12:30 p.m.

5/16: Missouri State @ Creighton - 12:30 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
Radio Broadcast: 1180 KZOT

Live Video (Free):

5/17: Missouri State @ Creighton - 7:00 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
Radio Broadcast: 1620 KOZN

Live Video:

5/18: Missouri State @ Creighton - 1:00 p.m. (TD Ameritrade Park Omaha)
Radio Broadcast: 1620 KOZN

Live Video:

Live Stats for All Games:

Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday                                   ERA    W-L    App    GS    CG    SHO    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
MSU - Nick Petree (Jr.-RHP)      1.55    8-1    12    12    2    1    87.0    66    20    15    18    100
CU - Tommy Strunc (Fr.-RHP)    4.15    7-2    12    12    0    0    65.0    48    30    30    37    51

Friday                                         ERA    W-L    App    GS    CG    SHO    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
MSU - Jonathan Harris (Fr.-RHP)    3.72    8-1    11    11    0    0    67.2    64    32    28    26    53
CU - Nick Musec (Sr.-RHP)              4.88    2-5    12    12    0    0    55.1    62    36    30    31    26

Saturday                                   ERA    W-L    App    GS    CG    SHO    IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
MSU - Andy Cheray (Fr.-LHP)  2.82    1-3    10    8    0       0    51.0    39    18    16    15    30
CU - Austin Groth (Fr.-RHP)    4.85     2-1     9    8     0      0    29.2    35    16    16    15    13

Weekend Promotions
Thursday, May 16 - Cox Kids Day at the Ballpark

Approximately 9,000 Children from local Omaha area elementary schools are expected to attend the Thursday game, sponsored by Cox Communications.

Friday, May 17 - Salute Our Military Community Night (A Veterans in Business Forum Event)
Creighton Baseball Salutes Our Military Services with a package of events including, a pregame fly over and paratroop drop, as well as an elite color guard presentation and postgame fireworks.  Friday’s contest is a Veterans in Business Forum Event.

Saturday, May 17 - Senior Day
Prior to Saturday’s contest, Creighton’s six seniors and their parent (Michael Blatchfor, Jordan Makovica, Brennan Murphy, Nick Musec, Alex Staehely & Mark Winkelman) will be honored for their dedication to Bluejay baseball.

The Road So Far
A disappointing loss to Nebraska on Tuesday may have hurt the Jays’ chances for an at-large bid, but at 28-15 entering the weekend the window remains cracked open.

The Bluejays close the regular season by hosting Missouri State for the Bluejays final MVC series in Creighton history.  Both teams will enter the game on Friday with an 11-7 mark in conference.  The team that takes the series is likely to finish third, while the losing team will place fourth.

The Road Ahead
Regardless of the outcome this weekend, the Bears and Bluejays would like nothing more than to meet one more time in 2013.  For that to happen, both teams would need to reach the MVC Tournament Final.  The MVC Tournament begins on Tuesday, May 21.  

Jays vs. Missouri State
Creighton and Missouri State have played 81 times, with the Bears holding a slim 41-40 margin over the Jays.  Under the guidance of Ed Servais that total is even closer, tied at 16-16.  In 2011 the Jays took five of six meetings with Missouri State at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, while the Bears swept the three meetings in Springfield, Mo. last year.  Of the 81 meetings, 24 games have been decided by one run, the Jays hold a 14-10 edge in those contests.

Scouting the Bears (29-19, 11-7 MVC)
Two weeks ago Missouri State entered play at 27-12 and battling for the top seed in the MVC at 11-4.  Since then the Bears have dropped seven of their last ten contests, including a six-game skid that featured a series sweep by Wichita State.  Missouri State may have righted their ship last weekend, however, taking two of three from Wright State.

Hitting .272 as a team, the Bears offense is their weak link.  Freshman Tate Matheny has been Missouri State’s most potent offensive weapon, hitting .343 on the season.  Matheny has a team-high four home runs, but also leads the team with 42 strikeouts.  In MVC play the Bears have leaned on sophomore Eric Cheray, who is hitting .418 in leage play

On the mound Missouri State has arguably one of the top starting rotations in the conference, anchored by junior Nick Petree.  The MVC Pitcher of the Year last season, Petree is making a case to defend that award in 2013.  He is 8-1 on the season with a 1.55 ERA in 12 games.  Despite not possessing overwhelming stuff, Petree has rung up 100 Ks in 87.0  innnigs.  Behind Petree, Jonathan Harris and Andy Cheray have a combined 9-4 mark in 19 starts.  The duo have a 3.72 and 2.82 respective ERA.

Defensively the Bears have committed 53 errors in 48 games, a .972 percentage (1894 chances).

MVC Seeding in a Nut Shell
Illinois State (#1, #2 or #4 seed)
#1 seed with a sweep of SIU
#2 seed if the Redbirds go 2-1 vs. SIU
#4 seed if swept by SIU and either MSU or Creighton sweep.

Wichita State (#1 or #2 seed)
#1 seed if Illinois State loses once to SIU
#2 seed if Illinois State sweeps SIU

Creighton (#2, #3 or #4 seed)
#2 seed if sweeps MSU & Illinois State is swept by SIU
#3 seed if wins series from MSU
#4 seed if loses sereis to MSU

Missouri State (#2, #3 or #4 seed)
#2 seed if sweeps Creighton & Illinois State is swept by SIU
#3 seed if wins series from Creighton
#4 seed if loses sereis to Creighton

Evansville (#5 seed)
The Aces are locked in as the #5 seed as Evansville hold the tiebreaker with Indiana State

Indiana State (#6 or #7 seed)
#6 seed with two wins over Bradley
#7 seed with one win or less over Bradley & SIU sweeps Illinois State.

Southern Illinois (#6 or #7 seed)
#6 seed with sweep of Illinois State & and two Indiana State losses to Bradley
#7 seed with any combination of two Indiana State wins or losses to Illinois State.

Bradley (#8 seed)
The Braves are the eight-seed.  Bradley’s lone MVC win came over Evansville.

Walk This Way
Creighton’s 11 drawn walks against Nebraska on May 14 was the second time in 2013 that the Bluejays drew more 10 walks in a game.  The Jays earned 12 walks in their 3-2 (11) win over Rutgers on April 27.  Before this season, the last time the Jays reached double figures in walks was against Nebraska on April 5, 2011.

Powering Up
Junior Federico Castagnini blasted his first home run as a Bluejay in Creighton’s 12-9 loss to Nebraska on May 14.  Castagnini’s blast was just the Jays third in 41 games in TDAPO over the past two season, Creighton other two long balls were courtesy of
senior Alex Staehely on March 31, 2012 & April 19, 2013.

Power Surge in Perspective
Castagnini’s bomb gave the Jays a total nine home runs on the season.  54 players in the NCAA have 10 or more long balls this season.  Missouri State has 13 home runs as a team.  Consider that combined the Jays and Bears have 22 jacks, while Kris Bryant of San Diego has 28 himself to lead the NCAA.

Strunc Marking His Territory
Freshman Tommy Strunc has made himself at home at TDAPO.  In five starts, Strunc has allowed just 13 hits in 31.1 innings.  His opposing BA is a
paltry .129 (13-of-101) and his ERA is 2.30.

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