OMAHA, Neb. — Back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, the Creighton Baseball team has some familiarity with where the NCAA Committee is sending them as the Bluejays earned the number two seed in the Corvallis Regional, hosted by Oregon State. Creighton (38-11) will face Michigan (41-18) in the opening round of the tournament on Friday, May 31.
The host Oregon State Beavers (36-18-1) will face the fourth seeded Cincinnati Bearcats (30-29) in the other opening round contest in Corvallis. Oregon State is the defending national champion after winning the 2018 College World Series at Creighton’s home stadium, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Creighton last faced Michigan early in the 2017 season, dropping an extra-inning battle 7-6 in 10 innings to the Wolverines on February 25 in a tournament in Santa Clara, Calif.
Creighton’s last trip to the Regionals came in 2012 in Los Angeles, while the team went to Corvallis Regional in 2011.
Pairings were announced on Monday morning in a nationally-televised broadcast on ESPNU on Monday morning, as the Bluejay team was joined by its supporters at the Old Mattress Factory just a block outside of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, home of the College World Series.The Bluejays and Wolverines will face off in the opening game of the regional, with first pitch set for 3:00 pm (CT). The nightcap between the Beavers and Bearcats is scheduled to begin at 9:00 pm (CT).
The winners bracket game will then be on Saturday, June 1, Regional round action is double-elimination, with more games scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and potentially Monday. Teams that advance out of the Regional round will play in the Super Regionals from June 7-10, with dates/times/sites being announced on June 3rd. The College World Series returns to Omaha for the 60th straight year from June 15-26.
This is Creighton’s 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, and fifth trip in 16 seasons for the Bluejays under Servais after also earning bids in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012.. The Bluejays earned the BIG EAST’s automatic bid after going 3-0, this weekend at the BIG EAST Championships in Mason, Ohio. Creighton was also the BIG EAST regular-season champion, going 14-4 in league play. Creighton is 15-20 all-time in 10 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the 1991 College World Series. This will be the
Creighton clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a 9-8 win in the BIG EAST Championship title game vs. Xavier on Saturday night in Mason, Ohio. It was Creighton’s first BIG EAST Tournament title in any men’s sport since joining the league in the summer of 2013. The Bluejays, who won their third BIG EAST regular-season title since 2014 with a 14-4 league record, feature the BIG EAST Player of the Year Jake Holton (.405, 14 HR, 56 RBI) and BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Mitch Ragan (8-2, 3.97 ERA, 86 SO in 90.2 IP). Senior shortstop Jack Strunc went 9-for-14 to hit .643 in the BIG EAST Championship, including a first inning grand slam in the title game, to earn the Jack Kaiser Most Outstanding Player award. He was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior first baseman Holton, junior second baseman Isaac Collins, junior outfielder Will Robertson and sophomore catcher David Vilches. Ed Servais leads the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year after helping the Bluejays to its best 49-game start in program history.
The Bluejays enter the NCAA Tournament on an eight-game winning streak and have posted victories in 13 of their last 14 games. Maybe more impressive Creighton is 21-5 in true road games this season and 4-1 in neutral site matchups, moving the Jays to 25-6 on the season away from home.