Two of the top pitchers in the BIG EAST were atop the hill in Omaha, with preseason BIG EAST pitcher of the year Hunter Schryver pitching for Villanova, and The King of Anthills (Jeff Albrecht) pitching for Creighton.
For four innings the two went back and forth, Albrecht utilizing his nasty curve to collect 7 strikeouts, and Schryver using a bender of his own to collect 6. The two were masterful in their approach, getting hitters off balance early in the game, mixing off speed stuff with their potent fastball, setting footholds to potentially go deep into the game.
That’s exactly what they did.
Villanova struck first in the top of the fifth when David Gulati drilled a ball into the right center gap, making his way around the basepaths to third with two outs on the board. He’d make the final 90 feet home after a wild pitch by the King and put the Wildcats on top.
In the top of the sixth the Wildcats finally managed to sufficiently get to the King after Todd Czinege led the inning off with a single. He’d make his way to third after a sac bunt and wild pitch, eventually scoring on a sac fly. The King would allow two more baserunners in the inning but to no avail.
Creighton took the bottom of the sixth and finally put something together offensively against the pretty overpowering Schryver. After a Clark Brinkman ground out, Isaac Collins acquired a base hit up the middle. Next, Tommy Luevano would step to the dish and slap a chopper to ‘Nova third baseman David Rodgers, who waited and waited and waited for the ball to eventually get to him. Collins was already standing on second when Rodgers delivered his awful throw to first, sailing way right of the first baseman, and allowing Luevano and Collins to take 2nd & 3rd.
Michael Emodi approached the dish and with the very first offering he nearly hung a gigantic laserdong to right, though it ended up just foul. He’d eventually pop out to the ‘Kentucky Bluegrass’ triangle, down the right field line, too shallow for the right fielder to get it, but too far for the second and first basemen to get it. Collins would score.
Schryver then responded to this debacle with a wild pitch, scoring Luevano.
2-2, tie ballgame.
The Bluejays would strike again in the bottom of the 7th when Bryce Only worked a walk to lead things off. Only was able to steal second after a Parker Upton strikeout, utilizing a pretty devastating swim move on his slide:
Only would score a few pitches later after Jason Allbery singled up the middle, giving the comeback kids a 3-2 lead that they’d never relinquish.
What occurred in the bottom of the 7th inning was potentially the most #BIGEASTBeisbol inning since... well... last night I guess when Villanova balked the winning run to third while trying to intentionally walk Michael Emodi in the 9th inning.
What started with a walk to Bryce Only soon devolved into a cacophony of poor pitching and patience. I can’t really explain what happened in words, though I normally possess some semblance of word smithery in these parts, I watched as a speeding train launched itself off its tracks, flying aimlessly through the air, only to land on a pile of dynamite in a pool of gasoline.
Villanova’s bullpen is bad. We know this. This bad, though? Here’s what went down in the 7th via a screencap of the nonsense because I’ll be damned if I want to relive that nightmare:
Creighton would go on to win the game 11-2. The rest of the game was sad and depressing.