Dana Cullen sounds like a real name. Cullen Dana is the possibly fake name of Seton Hall's starting pitcher, who posted an immaculate 1.22 ERA over 37 innings pitched. You may be saying to yourself, "Self, why is a dude who posts a 1.22 ERA starting on Saturdays instead of Fridays?" To answer your question: Shane McCarthy spends his Saturdays drinking kool-aid and watching cartoons, so he'd be in no shape to pitch.
For the second consecutive night we're met with two pretty good starting pitchers. As previously mentioned, there's
Dana Cullen Cullen Dana for the Pirates and Jeff Albrecht for the Bluejays. Albrecht pitched in only his third start of the season after regular starter and friend of puppy dogs Matt Warren went down with a season ending injury. Albrecht features good stuff, a fastball, changeup and some other indescribable breaking balls, but does not feature a very good pick-off move ala Jon Lester.
The first inning featured six straight outs, which is the norm in BIG EAST BASEBALL. In the second inning we saw threats from both sides, with Seton Hall managing to get runners on 1st & 2nd with one out only to have MOGUES strike out and Alescio to line out to Crawford at third base. In the bottom half we saw Reagan Fowler shoot a double into the right center gap, get bunted over to third, but fail to get around to home as Murray struck out and Only flied out to center.
Crawford's snag was pret-ty swell:
Crawford Snares Liner to End Top of Second, Strands Two Pirates. https://t.co/O2IPSlZhpa— Creighton Baseball (@CU_Baseball) April 9, 2016
The next two innings featured some pretty excellent pitching and even better fielding. It wasn't until the bottom of the fourth where things really started to happen. Ryan Fitzgerald worked a walk and brought Nicky Lopez to the plate. With Seton Hall thinking bunt (can't blame 'em), and the third baseman cheating in, Lopez was able to lace a single through the left side. Fitzgerald rounded second and left fielder Zack Weigel attempted to gun him down only to sail the throw wide of the third baseman. The home plate umpire, running up the line to make the call, tripped on the coach's box and fell to the turf where he laid for what seemed like hours. Fitzgerald advanced to home while Lopez managed to get to third base. For the next ~15 minutes, we had no baseball as the umpire was tended to and discussions were had on what exactly to do. Eventually, he did not return, and we were left with two umpires
When an umpire takes a spill and never returns, who notices? Is the essence of an umpire just to call a game or is their presence on a baseball diamond more meaningful? The legs intertwined of the middle aged man, taking a tumble over the idea of an imaginary boundary of the coach's box, is the most poetic event to happen in a baseball game. I've seen my share of bat and ball affairs, but this single event may be one of the most painstaking yet hilarious things these two eyes have ever seen. At first, it was the horror that a grown man could succumb to injury so quickly. Then, it was concern for the man as he failed to get up. Lastly, however, it was the hilarity of how the injury occurred; running to third base to observe an erroneous throw, falling like a redwood to the turf over his own two feet, and watching this poor guy just sort of lay there for roughly ten minutes. An umpire is the dark figure on the diamond, adorned in all black, and forced to make decisions to the ire of someone, somewhere, especially when crouching behind the plate.
In essence, it was pure beauty. The fifteen minutes of awkward tension and no baseball after the event made it more incredible.
The replay tells the broader story:
Lopez single lead to Creighton Run https://t.co/GyGMqtOExu— Creighton Baseball (@CU_Baseball) April 9, 2016
The very first pitch out of the break featured a beanball to Fowler, hitting him square in the numbers. Crawford struck out after, but with runners on the corners Brett Murray managed to lift the ball to left field to score Lopez from third and, on the poor throw from Weigel, allowed Fowler to tag from first and make it to second. Bryce Only then approached the dish and lined one to left field, where Weigel mishandled the ball and let it drop to the beautiful Kentucky Bluegrass below. It was marked down as a double - but I assure you it was probably an error as the ball was once in his glove and then immediately popped out. Fowler scored, Only making it to second base. 3-0 Jays.
The Seton Hall defense proved yet again that catching and throwing the ball - two central tenants in the game of base - were not its strong suit.
As we strolled to the top of the fifth it appeared that Seton Hall was going to work itself into scoring an actual run. Caputo led off with a hot shot grounder to the left side that just crawled beneath Harrison Crawford's glove, landing him on first with a single. The Seton Hall offense labored, with MOGUES flying out, Caputo getting nabbed at second on a delayed steal, and Alescio flying out to left. The score remained 3-0, all Bluejays.
The bottom of the fifth featured a smokin' liner off the bat of Woodrow to the right side, just over MOGUES's glove. From first, Woodrow stole second which undeniably caused Cullen Dana a great deal of grief as he proceeded to walk Fitzgerald. A lengthy meeting on the mound led to the Pirates conceding the inning to the bat of Nicky Lopez, who proceeded to bunt his way aboard after Cullen Dana's throw forced MOGUES off the bag. With the bases loaded it was time for Dana's day to end with Matt Leon coming on to relieve and Creighton's Fowler to the dish.
Fowler drove a grounder straight up the middle, bouncing it over second base, which scored Woodrow and Fitzgerald. Matt Leon was physically pitching but was mentally a child near a plastic bag; danger hanging just around the corner. Harrison Crawford stepped to the dish and continued the singles train, pounding a grounder through the left side, scoring Lopez and leaving Fowler on third base. Leon's confidence took a sharp up turn as his defense managed to turn a double play without completely bungling it up. Unfortunately for Leon, Fowler scored, leaving the final tally at 4 runs in the 5th inning and a 7-0 advantage for Creighton.
Seton Hall finally got their bats going, sort of. With two outs and no one on in the top of the sixth, Derek Jenkins popped an infield single to a ranging Nicky Lopez and proceeded to steal second base. Zack Weigel then proceeded shoot a laser beam into left field, which caused Brett Murray's defensive replacement Will Bamesberger to fall down and let the ball slip past him, letting Jenkins score. Unfortunately, that was about all Seton Hall could muster in the inning.
From then on nothing really happened. The game just sort of dragged along with runners occasionally getting on base but nothing really coming of it. It was a depressing affair to observe, especially after experiencing the immense high of watching an umpire take a spill and never returning.