There’s nothing quite like a mid-week college baseball game. Add in an intra-city rivalry on election day for mayor and you’ve got something special cooking. Heck, toss in the fact that this game took place outside of the city limits in the town of Papillion and you’ve got yourself a historic outing that no one will soon forget.
Unless you’re planning on taking a lot of quaaludes. Then you’ll probably forget.
Junior right hander Ryan Tapani started for the Bluejays today, which is sort of strange in perspective since he’s been used as a reliever all year. Regardless, Tap carries with him a bit of baseball history since Kevin Tapani is his father. Yes, that Kevin Tapani.
Before Tap could throw a pitch, the Jays had already jettisoned themselves into the lead after Tommy Luevano hit a ground rule double into the right field corner, then was driven home by a Will Robertson single to left.
The top of the first ended with that 1-0 lead in tact and Tap headed to the bump to create a little bit of history.
He allowed a hit, got two guys to ground out, then struck out the final batter of the inning. Though he was born in the tundra of Minnesota, it was clear that Tap has the ability to play in any weather condition because it was pretty hot when the game started and he did fine.
After the Jays went down in order in the top of the 2nd, Tapani was summoned to the mound to reprise his role and he didn’t disappoint. He allowed a single, struck a guy out, got a guy to fly out, and got the final batter to ground out. Thus far he’s covered pretty much all the bases when it comes to pitching. Except for one.
The Jays managed to put two runs up in the third after a walk and a single by Isaac Collins and Tommy Luevano. Collins would be driven home just two pitches later after Michael Emodi singled to left, sending Luevano to third on the hit. Luevano would score on the very next pitch which resulted in a fly out by Will Robertson.
Omaha would answer in the bottom half, an unfortunate time for our hero Ryan Tapani, as he’d finally give a little leeway after a walk and a double. The two would come around to score after two consecutive ground outs (granted, the first was a sac bunt), giving the Mavs two runs on the evening.
Creighton had an opportunity to score in the top half of the fourth, the top half of the sixth, the top half of the seventh. In fact, now that I think about it, they had a lot of opportunities to score and didn’t cash in on them. In all, the Jays left 14 runners on base.
Regardless, the Jays scored when it mattered most. In the top of the fifth, Emodi singled to left and was driven home by a dong shot from Will Robertson that bounded off the right field foul pole. It was a majestic dong that sliced through the evening sky like a plane dropping chemtrails or whatever.
Ryan Tapani’s day ended in the bottom of the fifth. He did his duty, struck out a couple guys, and looked really pretty good out there on the mound. Perhaps he’s more suited for the starting role than languishing as a reliever? We’ll find out next year, I’m pretty sure the rotation is looking alright.
Mitchell Boyer came on to relieve Tap and had a wildly successful 1-2-3 inning.
In the bottom of the 6th Boyer was pulled for Houston Glad. These sorts of meetings in the middle of the week are meant for bullpen experiments and needless to say Glad probably wishes he could have this night back.
He gave up back to back singles, then balked, then a passed ball occurred, then there were three consecutive ground outs and suddenly, like clockwork, the Mavs had moved back into contention.
In the 7th, Houston Glad exited the game and Brennan Hammer came on to relieve, acquired an out, but proceeded to give up a walk and an error. Ethan DeCaster then entered the ballgame but after a walk, the lead was sufficiently given away as a ball was lifted deep into the outfield lights. This allowed for a sacrifice fly, tying the ballgame, and effectively adding tension to all who peered upon this ballgame in terror.
5-5. Tied up.
The eighth inning came and went without a great deal of fanfare. DeCaster continued to pitch, inducing a ground out, a fly out, a strike out, while suffering the fate of a lone, depressing single.
This set the stage for the top of the ninth. If you know these Bluejays, you probably don’t have to read any further. If you’re new to this or just enjoy reading the inevitable, here’s what transpired, in all its glory, by the words my fingers can produce:
Justin Updog hits an infield single (duh)
Nick Ortega lays down a beautiful sac bunt (duh)
Isaac Collins strikes out (wait, what?)
Tommy Luevano hangs glorious, unrelenting dong into the Papillion skyline.
Well, pretty much at least.
Creighton deployed Dave Gerber to shut down the remaining Mavs that threatened. With his save, he became the all-time save leader in Creighton baseball history. That’s no joke. He’s that fucking good. Try to hit his slider. I dare you.
Jays win, improve to 23-18 on the year. Omaha drops to 12-34 on the season. Hey! 1234! That’s something, right?