I got a call from Creighton assistant coach Rob Smith this afternoon, and he was understandably excited about the Bluejays’ incredible run to their first Missouri Valley Conference championship. As amazing as Vanderbilt’s victory over Mississippi was last night, Creighton’s win against Wichita State last night was no less remarkable.
Earlier Saturday, Creighton had lost a 2-1 decision to the Shockers, setting the stage for a decisive second game. The Bluejays bounced back to take a 6-1 lead in the nightcap heading into the eighth inning, as ambidextrous Pat Venditte started and struck out 10 over 6 1/3 very strong innings. Wichita State scored four runs in the eighth against usually untouchable Creighton closer Andy Masten, and the Shockers tacked on another run in the ninth to force extra innings. Wichita scored three runs in the top of the 11th, and Creighton was down to its final strike in the bottom of the frame with a runner on first base and the deficit still at three runs. The Bluejays battled back to tie the score against WSU closer Noah Krol, and they won it in the 12th.
“It was unlike any game I’ve ever been a part of,” Smith said. “Just a back-and-forth heavyweight fight.”
At 44-14, the Jays are likely to be a No. 2 seed in a regional at either Missouri or Arkansas–my guess is Missouri. Here’s one more reason Creighton coach Ed Servais deserves strong consideration for national coach of the year honors: in the MVC title game against Wichita State, Creighton had walk-ons at second base, center field, left field and starting pitcher, and another walk-on (Casey Schmidt) was on the mound when the Bluejays closed it out.
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