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    Fighting Irish

    CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS


    (as of May 25)

    Location: Omaha, Neb.
    Founded: 1878
    Enrollment: 5,695
    Nickname: Bluejays
    Colors: Blue and white
    President: Rev. Michael G. Morrison, S.J. (St. Louis '60)
    Athletic Director: Bruce Rasmussen (Northern Iowa '71)

    3B Ryan Gripp
    Head Coach: Jack Dahm (Creighton '90)
    Career Record: 174-159-2 (sixth season)
    Record at Creighton: Same
    Assistant Coaches: Ed Servais (Wisconsin-LaCrosse '81), Bill Olson (Midland Lutheran '61)
    Athletic Trainer for Baseball: Jorge Gorton
    Baseball SID: Kiron Anderson

    Creighton Baseball Team Photo

    Conference: Missouri Valley
    Home Stadium (Capacity): Creighton Sports Complex (2,000)
    Surface, Dimensions: Turf, 330-368-405-370-330
    1998 Record: 27-27-1
    1998 Conference Record, Finish: 12-19, 6th
    1998 Postseason: 0-2 at MVC Tournament
    Position Starters Returning from 1998: 6/2
    Pitchers Returning/Lost from 1998: 4/6
    Letterwinners Returning/Lost from 1998: 13/9

    1999 Record: 38-23
    1999 Conference Record, Finish: 18-13, 3rd
    1999 Conference Tournament: 3-2, runner-up

    NCAA HISTORY

  • The Bluejays will be making their fifth appearance in the NCAAs and first since 1992, a year after they advanced to the 1991 College World Series in their hometown of Omaha.
  • Creighton's previous NCAA appearances came in 1973, 1990, 1991 and 1992

    RHP Peyton Lewis
    TEAM NOTES
  • The Bluejays carry a 38-23 overall record and posted an 18-13 record in the Missouri Valley Conference regular season standings before advancing to the championship game of the MVC tournament, where Creighton lost 11-2 to Wichita State.
  • Creighton's third-place finish in the MVC is its best conference finish since 1995.
  • The Bluejays' team stats for the 1999 season include a .329 batting average, 77 home runs, 48 stolen bases, a 5.42 ERA and a .965 fielding percentage.
  • Creighton played all of its 1999 home games off campus, while the Creighton Sports Complex was being renovated. The Bluejays played most of their 1999 home games at Seymour Smith Park while playing some at Rosenblatt Stadium (home of the CWS).
  • Notre Dame is very familiar with Creighton. The Irish beat the Bluejays twice in early March of the 1999 season, at the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Texas, by scores of 5-4 and 5-3 (championship game). The teams also split a pair of games in San Antonio during the 1997 season, with the Irish winning 7-3 while the Bluejays won the rematch in the IBC title game (8-5).

    INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Top Bluejays players include: junior 3B Ryan Gripp (.396, 24 HR, 23 2B, 84 RBI, 49 BB), sophomore1B/C Dan Lawler (.360, 7 HR, 53 RBI) and junior 2B Vince Pietro (.359, 1 HR, 39 RBI, 60 R).
  • Senior RHP Peyton Lewis-the 1999 MVC pitcher of the year-also plays at first base while compiling impressive stats at the plate (.350, 19 HR, 76 RBI) and on the mound (2.97, 10-0, 97.0 IP, 106 Ks, 47 BB, 84 H). Creighton's other top starter is sophomore LHP Dan Gooris (6.39, 10-6, 94.1 IP, 66 Ks, 28 BB, 127 H).
  • Lewis, Gripp and junior CF Troy Carley were named to the MVC all-tournament team.
  • Senior C Brian Smith (Oconomowoc, Wis.) was baptized at Sacred Heart Basillica on the Notre Dame campus. His parents David and Karen Smith, attended St. Joseph High School (located across U.S. 31 from the Notre Dame campus), where David Smith was an all-state football player and a pitcher on the St. Joe baseball team.
  • Head coach Jack Dahm (Creighton '90, player for the Bluejays from 1986-89) is a former coach of Notre Dame pitching coach Brian O'Connor ('91). Dahm-who was a graduate assistant at Creighton in 1990, assistant coach from 1991-93 and has been head coach since 1993-hired O'Connor as his pitching coach for the 1994 season. Dahm was named the 1999 MVC coach of the year. Dahm, an infielder during his Creighton career, played with several future major leaguers, including catcher Scott Servais. O'Connor hails from Council Bluffs, Iowa, which lies just over the Missouri River from Omaha.
  • Creighton has six players who hail from Illinois: sophomore LHP Dan Gooris (Skokie/Niles North HS), junior OF Ovid Valentin (Oak Park/Oak Park-River Forest HS), senior RHP C.J. Keating (Chicago/Brother Rice HS), freshman IF/OF Scott Allen (St. Charles/St. Charles HS), junior IF Dan Vrbancic (Schaumburg/Schaumburg HS) and freshman 1B Rhett Dwyer (Tinley Park/Vincent J. Andrew HS). Gooris is the Bluejays No. 2 starter, with a 10-6 record, 6.39 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 94.1 innings. Valentin, a prep teammate of Irish junior LHP Tim Kalita, is hitting .263 with five home runs and 43 RBI in 190 ABs. Keating is 3-4 with a 6.60 ERA and 48 Ks in 45 innings. Allen is hitting .33 with five home runs and 23 RBI in 117 ABs. Vrbancic is hitting .325 with one home run and eight RBI in 40 ABs. Dwyer is hitting .216 with two home runs and nine RBI in 51 ABs.


     
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