Omaha, Neb. — Bluejays senior Mitch Ragan (Omaha, Neb.) claimed another spoil from an opening weekend sweep of Little Rock as Creighton’s Friday night starter claimed the first BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week honor from the BIG EAST Conference in 2019. Ragan went six innings to earn the win in a 10-8 series-opening victory at Little Rock. Over his six innings he struck out seven, threw out one and allowed just three runs with no walks. Of his seven strikeouts, three were caught looking.
Ragan and the pitching staff benefited from a combined 35 runs in the series sweep of the Trojans. Senior Jack Strunc (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) was a catalyst for Creighton, closing the series with six RBI and three runs scored. Jack’s numbers earned a spot on the BIG EAST Honor Rolle as he had at least one RBI in each of Creighton’s three wins in the opening series at Little Rock. He also collected three runs and two stolen bases.
Stunc, Ragan and the rest of the Bluejay squad return to the diamond on Friday, Feb. 22nd at 2:00 pm (CT) as Creighton begins a four-game mini tournament with Texas State and McNeese State in Lake Charles, La. Creighton will face Texas State on Friday, both squads Saturday and close the mini-tournament with McNeese State on Sunday.
BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week
Mitch Ragan, Creighton, Sr., RHP (Omaha, Neb.)
Creighton righty Mitch Ragan went 6.0 innings to earn the win in a 10-8 series-opening victory at Little Rock. Over his six innings he struck out seven, threw out one and allowed just three runs with no walks. Of his seven strikeouts, three were caught looking on the final pitch. His ERA for the game was 4.50. Batters batted .261 against him.
BIG EAST Player of the Week
Kyle Smith, Butler, Sr., OF (Petal, Miss.)
Senior outfielder Kyle Smith batted .545 (6-for-11) over the opening series against the Broncs. Of his six hits, four were for extra bases as he had a double, triple and two home runs for the series with six RBI and seven runs scored and a 1.364 slugging percentage. Smith had a league-high five RBI and two homers in the 14-3 Saturday win over Rider which tied the series. Smith batted in the No. 2 spot.
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
Jack Strunc, Creighton, Sr., SS (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Batting cleanup, Strunc hit .400 (6-for-15) with six RBI and three runs scored, he had at least one RBI in each of Creighton’s three wins in the opening series at Little Rock. He also collected three runs and two stolen bases.
Nick Morreale, Georgetown, Jr., RHP (Lake Elmo, Minn.)
Morreale set a career high with nine strikeouts, four looking, in 6.0 innings. He retired the first six batters, eight of the first nine overall and went into the dugout with a 4.50 ERA and a no decision. Georgetown lost, 6-5 to Sacred Heart.
Noah Thompson, Seton Hall, Jr., RHP (Frisco, Texas)
Thompson turned in his best career performance to date on Saturday, despite the 6-0 loss. The righty tossed a career-high 6.0 innings and struck out a career- and league-best 10 batters, while surrendering four hits and two runs. Opponents batted .190 against him.
Chris Rotondo, Villanova, So., OF (Redding, Conn.)
Rotondo led the Wildcats with six hits in the first three games of the season at the Sunshine State Games in Kissimmee, Fla. He finished just a home run shy of the cycle in the season opener against Pittsburgh. The sophomore batted .462 (6-for-13) for the weekend with two runs and a .769 slugging percentage.
Jake Shepski, Xavier, Grad, OF/RHP (Lockport, Ill.)
Shepski batted .500 (5-for-10) in a three-game series at No. 7 North Carolina. He had a team-best five hits with three RBI with two walks as he contributed two sac flies and a double. Shepski is a transfer from Notre Dame.