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Big East Baseball Weekend Recap

Sweeps and high octane offenses spelled disaster for Butler and Xavier.

Fitzgerald was key to Creighton's success
Fitzgerald was key to Creighton's success
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier at Creighton

Creighton defeats Xavier 8-2

Freshman phenom Rollie Lacy shut down the stumbling, bumbling Musketeers after tossing 7 innings and accruing only 4 hits. The kid has been lights out this year for the Bluejays, tossing 33 innings and only allowing 10 earned so far this season. Xavier pitcher Brad Kirschner couldn't get out of the 3rd inning as the Bluejays got a pair of free bases off of a HBP and a walk in the bottom of the first. Ryan Fitzgerald loaded up and destroyed a pitch that over the fence in right field, allowing Creighton a 3-1 lead in the first frame.

It only got worse for Kirsch as he gave up another run in the 2nd and three more in the third before he was pulled for reliever Eric Steine - who proceeded to throw 4.2 innings allowing only one two hits and 1 earned.

Nick Highberger entered the game in relief of Lacy and proceeded to strike out two and set up the 9th inning for Taylor Elman. Elman did much of the same, collecting two K's and putting an exclamation point on the game.

Creighton defeats Xavier 6-1

Saturday proved to be a repeat of what transpired on Friday night. In game #100 at TD Ameritrade Park, the Jays used brilliant pitching to dismantle the Musketeer offense. Keith Rogalla pitched 8 innings, only allowing 2 hits and struck out 8 batters while only issuing two walks. The Musketeers called on Adam Hall, who allowed 4 runs off of 5 hits through 5 innings pitched. The Musketeers then went to the bullpen and called on sacrificial lamb Jacob Bodner to hit a batter, toss a couple of wild pitches and allowed two to score, and left the game without recording an out.

It was not pretty watching the Musketeer defense in this game. They seemingly could not record outs at times because of fundamental mistakes and through 2 games had recorded 4 errors. Ethan Decaster allowed a run off of an error by Crawford in the 9th, yet the Bluejays sealed the deal and collected a 6-1 win over the Musketeers.

Creighton defeats Xavier 3-1

Xavier came prepared in the final game of the series, attempting to quell the Bluejay's ferocious offensive output and put a halt on the sweep. Trent Astle was on the hill for the Musketeers and through 6 innings kept the Bluejays off the scoreboard. After striking first in the pitcher's duel in the 4th inning off of a Chase Puente RBI single, it seemed as if Xavier had this game already in the books. Astle was dealing, throwing nasty stuff over the plate and allowing weak contact, striking out one and forcing his defense to work and regain composure - the defense recorded 16 outs by flyouts and groundouts.

Creighton, however, took a different approach to pitching. Utilizing 6 different pitchers, much like last Sunday against Georgetown, the jays called on Warren, Elman, Miller and Highberger to get the Jays through 7 innings on 6 hits and one earned. DeCaster came in as the set-up man to Gerber, but allowed two hits to the first two batters faced. Servais pulled DeCaster for Gerber, who came in with runners on 1st & 3rd and shut down the scoring threat while striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.

Creighton would take the lead in the 7th, as Murray doubled and later scored off of a Lucansky single, which also brought home Wiedeman on a throwing error. What was seemingly a perfect day through 6 for the Musketeer defense, the wheels suddenly came off in the 7th as the Jays scored 3 runs on just 2 hits accompanied by the throwing error.

Creighton finishes the series at 20-9, 5-1 in conference and faces no. 23 Nebraska on Tuesday. Xavier finishes the series at 8-26, 0-6 in conference and visits rival Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Butler at West Virginia

West Virginia defeats Butler 6-5

In an extra inning affair in Morgantown, the Bulldogs were downed by the Mountaineers in the 13th inning. Jeff Schank, the Butler ace, lasted 5.2 and allowed 4 runs off of 8 hits. Relieved by an incredible outing by Pobereyko, who went 5.1 innings, struck out 9 Mountaineer batters while only allowing 1 run off of 4 hits. As the game dwindled into the late evening, Kyle Allen was called on to take control in the 12th and eventually allowed the winning run to cross the plate. This was a special game for the Mountaineers as it was the first game in their brand new stadium dubbed 'Monongalia County Ballpark'. As one can imagine, the Mountaineer faithful were out in full force with a sellout crowd who were witness to an exciting game that ended properly for the boys in Morgantown.

The Bulldogs relied heavily on Michael Fries and Garrett Christman who both collected two hits and were driven home by Will Amador, who followed with 2 RBIs. For Butler to put up a fight against a good West Virginia team from arguably the top conference in college baseball is a good sign for things to come, especially when Jeff Schank is dealing.

West Virginia defeats Butler 8-0

The offense could not get anything going against West Virginia, as it seemed as if allowing a walk off the night before took all the air out of the team. Holding Butler to only 6 hits through the affair, West Virginia pitcher Ross Vance went 8 innings and struck out 3 before Jeff Hardy sealed the deal in the 9th. Nyznyk couldn't keep the Mountaineers off the bases as he pitched 6 and allowed 8 hits, 5 earned runs and allotted two dingers to West Virginia. Luke Johnson's outing to close the game out also yielded 3 earned for West Virginia, as the Butler offense was completely stifled.

West Virginia defeats Butler 12-4

Getting swept is never fun. Getting blown out to get swept is even worse. For the second night in a row, the Butler offense could not get going early, and by the time the bats woke up it was already 11-0. The Bulldog's starter Nick Morton allowed 11 runs off of 12 hits and also allowed two dingers by the highly motivated West Virginia offense. Congratulations to the Mountaineers for remaining undefeated in their home stadium, but bullying the Butler ballclub the way you did in the final two games is just unfair.

Butler finished the series 13-21 overall and 0-3 in conference play. They visit Ball State on Wednesday and hopefully the baseball program gets back on track and gets the offense going against the Cardinals.