OMAHA, Neb. - The Bluejays' baseball team hosts Omaha and Iowa in two midweek contests at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on April 22 (Omaha) and April 23 (Iowa) at 6:30 pm.
Omaha at Creighton
TD Ameritrade Park Omaha
April 22 @ 6:30 pm
Creighton leads series, 48-29
Iowa at Creighton
TD Ameritrade Park Omaha
April 22 @ 6:30 pm
TV: CSB Sports Network - Brent Stover (PBP) and Danny Graves (Analyst)
Iowa leads series, 13-9
Creighton took two of three at Villanova in its only games last week.
The Bluejays have a packed schedule this week as Creighton hosts Omaha and Iowa for midweek games, then welcomes Butler in for three games over the weekend.
Creighton concludes its annual battle with Nebraska on Tuesday, April 29 as the Bluejays look to salvage a game from the Husker. Next weeekend is the end of the BIG EAST home schedule as Creighton hosts Seton Hall for three from May 2-4.
Omaha vs. Creighton Series
Creighton and Omaha have renewed a longstanding rivalry over the past few seasons as the Mavericks have been transitioning to Division I. Creighton owns a 48-29 edge in the series and took two of three from Omaha last season.
Iowa vs. Creighton Series
Iowa leads the all-time series with the Jays, 13-9, including a 5-4 win over Creighton in the last meeting on May 15, 2012. Under coach Servais, the Bluejays are 3-2 against Iowa.
Scouting the Mavericks (19-13, 5-3 Summit)
Omaha swept a three-game series with Bradley over the weekend, allowing head coach Bob Herold to become the winningest coach in UNO baseball history.
The Mavericks will send RHP Zach Williamsen to the mound on Tuesday night. He has a 4.78 ERA over 32 innings this season,
including six starts.
At the plate Omaha is hitting .287 as a team, led by six hitters over .300. As with most teams the top two hitters for the Mavericks are critical. Omaha’s leading hitter hits second typically with a team-best .377 average, including 43 hits, 13 doubles and five home runs. The leadoff man, Cole Gruber, has 16 stolen bases on the season and a .325 average.
Scouting the Hawkeyes (22-15, 7-8 Big Ten)
Iowa has taken three of its five weekend series in Big Ten play, taking two of three from Nebraska, Northwestern & Minnesota.
Hawkeyes skipper Rick Heller is very familiar with Creighton, coming to Iowa from Indiana State last season. Heller was also the head coach at Northern Iowa.
Iowa is slated to start RHP Blake Hickman, who enters Wednesday’s contest with a 5.06 ERA in 16 innings. Hickman has appeared in 12 games this season, including two starts.
Hawkeye cleanup hitter Dan Potempa leads Iowa with a .350 average in 2014. Potempa has a team-best 41 hits, including eight doubles and two home runs. On the base paths the Hawkeyes
have swiped 58 bags, led by Jake Tacinich’s 19 steals in 21 attempts.
Warren Sank His Teeth Into Wildcats
Despite having his starter pushed from his Thursday start to Saturday due to an emergency dental issue, sophomore Matt Warren was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week as he improved to 8-0 on the season with seven innings of shutout ball in Creighton’s 4-0 win at Villanova on April 19.
Warren tossed 93 pitches, allowing just three hits and two walks. His seven shutout innings extended his scoreless inning streak to 16, helped as he induced inning-ending double plays in the third and fifth innings.
He’s given up just two earned runs over his last five starts, dropping his ERA to 1.71.
Mancuso Pushing for More Time
Sophomore Joey Mancuso is making a case for increased time behind the plate as the sophomore transfer from Saint Louis was 5-for-8 with three RBI and two runs scored at Villanova on April 18 & 19.
Sova Stretched Out
Creighton’s closer, senior Bryan Sova, did more than a little stretching out as the Omaha native tossed a career-high 5.2 innings of relief to earn his second win of 2014 on Saturday, April 18 in the Bluejays’ 12-6 win at Villanova. Sova’s threw 75 pitches, another career-high, topped his previous marks of 3.2 innings and 54 pitches against Rutgers on April 27, 2013.
Gerber Produces Career Day at Villanova
Gerber collected a career-high five hits and drove in four runs in the Bluejays’ 12-6 win at Villanova Friday in their first BIG EAST road win. He finished the week with a team-high six RBI.
Creighton and Iowa have a number of connections within their coaching staffs.
Creighton Associate Head Coach Spencer Allen began his Intercollegiate Coaching
Career as a Volunteer Assistant Coach in 2004.
Creighton’s Director of Baseball Operations Brian Furlong played for both the Bluejays (2003) and Iowa (2004-05) as well as serving as the Hawkeyes’ Director of Operations in 2012 & 2013, before joining Creighton this season.
In addition, Iowa head coach Rick Heller was slated to become an assistant coach for Ed Servais in 2009 before accepting the head coaching role at Indiana State.