By Andrew Nelson, Contributor
The Omaha baseball team will head downtown Tuesday night to face the Blue Jays of Creighton inside one of college baseball’s finest venues.
The Mavericks (17–18, 10–7), will head into TD Ameritrade Park on a shaky, up-and-down season. However, the Mavs are still currently second/third in the conference, just four games behind Oral Roberts for the lead.
The Blue Jays (21–11, 6–2), on the other hand, sit atop the Big East standings tied for the lead with just about a month to go on the season. Pitching is their strong suit, and it will be a heavy card to play against for the Mavericks. The Mavs average a 5.03 ERA as a team so far this year, whereas the Blue Jays average a comfortable 3.20 ERA as a club.
Omaha will have the edge at the plate as well as a few guys that can cause problems for the Blue Jay pitching staff. Juniors Cole Gruber and Alex Schultz have led the Mavs at the dish this season, and they aren’t the only ones. Omaha has a team batting average of .284 so far this season, which is third in the Summit.
Creighton can toss a few pitchers the Mavericks’ way Tuesday night, but Zach Williamsen will likely get the nod for Mavs. The senior righty from Omaha is 6–4 on the mound so far this season, and leads the pitching staff so far.
The Mavs have seen success playing in Omaha this year, at 10–4 so far at the Ball Park at Boys Town, and it shouldn’t be different just down the road. Close games at Werner Park this year against Kansas State and Nebraska have shown the grit and confidence this squad has to go up against top-caliber ball clubs. Despite some late-inning slip-ups and extra-inning magic, the Mavs record would be above .500 with a couple of signature wins under their belt.
Their chance for a signature win will be Tuesday night. This is the only meeting between these two cross-town rivals, and the Blue Jays will be looking for some payback from the Mav’s 4–1 win last year.