Today is one of the best days of the year if you’re an elementary school student in the Omaha area. On what portends to be one of the greatest field trips of the year, local kids are bused in by the thousands to bask in the sunlight, eat their bodyweight in cotton candy, and yell innocuous chants at the ol’ ballyard.
With temperatures hovering in the upper 60’s with a pleasant northern wind tickling the flags out on the concourse in center, the kids bore witness to a matchup between the hometown Bluejays and the bayou boys from McNeese State.
Though they weren’t able to see a glorious longball scratch the pads atop the outfield wall, they were treated to a pitcher’s duel that featured clutch strikeouts and perfectly timed double plays.
Creighton struck first in the fourth with Tommy Luevano singling through the right side. McNeese State’s pitcher Austin Sanders tried to pick Luevano off at first but his throw went wide - way wide - allowing Luevano to wheel around second and take third with ease. This set up Michael Emodi with an opportunity to put the Jays up.
What do you think he did?
He’s currently slugging at a .494 clip. He’s gone to dongtown 7 times. He’s the best power hitter in the starting lineup.
Honest to God. A safety squeeze down the first base line. Luevano made it home with ease.
McNeese State managed to get to Lacy a bit in the 6th when leadoff man Robbie Podorsky walked, stole second, then advanced to third on a balk. He tagged from third just three pitches later on a deep sac fly to left field.
1-1, tie game.
Rollie Lacy was brilliant today, tossing 7 innings of 4-hit ball, striking out 5, walking 3, and allowing just one aforementioned earned run. In what seemed like every at bat he managed to get a first strike across, then work the count into his favor. He kept a lineup full of hitters with <.300 averages off balance for the duration of his start, and left the Jays on solid ground in a tie game.
Then, the ninth inning happened.
In the top of the ninth McNeese State started things off hot with a single to left by Selman. Suhon followed this with an attempted sac bunt that lofted off his bat towards Allbery at first, which kept Selman on the bag anticipating it being caught. Allbery let it drop, touched first, and Selman was off running to second. Allbery chased, realized that he was a few steps too slow, then threw it to Tommy Luevano who was, for some ungodly reason, running towards the runner and Allbery. The throw popped off the top of his glove and innocently fell to the ground, yet allowed Selman to advance to second base.
This is where the wheels fell off. Completely. DeCaster proceeded to intentionally walk Jake Cochran, gave up a single to Mitchell Rogers - scoring Selman - then allowed an infield single on a bunt to 9-hole hitter Will Fox.
With the bases loaded, Robbie Podorsky ripped a grounder to Tommy Luevano, who misplayed the ball, allowing another run to score. Ricky Ramirez then singled through the left side, scoring two more.
When the third out was recorded, a ‘4’ had been hung on the scoreboard and it was 5-1.
The lead was too large even for these comeback kids, though they managed to get two on in the ninth, it was too little too late.
Creighton drops to 22-20 on the year while McNeese State improves to 32-16. They’ll play tomorrow night in front of another large crowd as it’ll be Military Night.