Creighton Bluejays (16-22, 3-11 MVC) at Bradley Braves (24-17-1, 7-8 MVC)
GAMES 43-45 | FRI., MAY 4-SUN. MAY 6 | 6 P.M.-2 P.M.-1 P.M. | PEORIA, ILL. | O'BRIEN FIELD
Friday, May 4 | 6 p.m.
Bradley: Joe Bircher (Sr., LHP, 6-1, 2.34 ERA, 80.2 IP, 90 K's)
Creighton: Ty Blach (Jr., LHP, 3-4, 3.11 ERA, 75.1 IP, 58 K's)
Saturday, May 5 | 2 p.m.
Bradley: Justin Ziegler (Sr., RHP, 3-4, 5.47 ERA, 54.1 IP, 30 K's)
Creighton: Erik Mattingly (Sr., RHP, 0-3, 2.43 ERA, 40.2 IP, 21 K's)
Sunday, May 6 | 1 p.m.
Bradley: Tory Doerr (Sr., LHP, 4-2, 4.10 ERA, 37.1 IP, 12 K's)
Creighton: Shane Liska (Sr., RHP, 1-2, 3.62 ERA, 27.1 IP, 32 K's)
Bradley will play its final Missouri Valley Conference home series this weekend by hosting Creighton in a 3-game set Friday-Sunday at O'Brien Field ... Bradley enters the weekend series tied with Evansville for fifth place in the league standings, but just 2.5 games behind second-place Indiana State ... Creighton enters the series in eighth place in the league standings, 2.5 games behind seventh-place Illinois State and 3.5 games behind Bradley ... The series will feature a special promotion each game:
Friday | Red Sea Day
Members of the Red Sea student support group are invited to an end-of-year celebration and the season's attendance prizes will be awarded.
Saturday | Little Braves Club Day and Boy Scout Day
Free admission for all Little Braves Club members, as well as three guests, with the club ID and t-shirt ... $1 admission for Boy Scouts in uniform ... Activites on the O'Brien Field concourse to include poster making and tie-dying ... Area mascots, including Wolfie (104.9 FM) and Homer (Peoria Chiefs), will entertain fans.
Sunday | Mom's Day
The first 100 fans will receive a pink t-shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness ... Bradley University President Joanne Glasser and the mothers of the current Braves will throw out ceremonial first pitches.
Series vs. Creighton
Creighton leads 70-45 | At Bradley: Braves lead 27-26
Bradley and Creighton have played 115 games against one another, dating back to a 2-game sweep by the Braves April 16-17, 1948 ... Despite being the two most northern teams in The Valley, they are starting their series in May for the first time since 2004 ... Though Creighton owns a 70-45 overall lead in the head-to-head series, Bradley is 27-26 at home against the Bluejays ... Creighton is 8-5 against Bradley at O'Brien Field ... The Bluejays have won six straight in the series, two shy of their longest winning streak against Bradley (8 games from April 8, 1989-March 30, 1991).
Bradley has played only 10 home games so far this season and the Braves are 5-5 at O'Brien Field ... Among Valley teams, Illinois State has played the next fewest home games, going 8-4 in 12 games to date at Duffy Bass Field ... The other seven teams in The Valley have averaged 20.7 home games played and 13.9 home wins so far this year.
Through Tuesday's action, Bradley ranked 93rd in the RPI published by WarrenNolan.com ,,, The Valley ranks eighth among all leagues in the RPI ... According to the Nolan Power Index (NPI) published at WarrenNolan.com, however, Bradley ranks 52nd, while The Valley is ranked fourth among all leagues.
Bradley began this week ranked 16th nationally and tops in The Valley by averaging 0.88 home runs per game ... With at least 12 games remaining, Bradley is on pace to hit 48 homers, which would be the most by the Braves since they pounded out 68 homers in 2001 ... Bradley hit only 13 home runs all of last year.
After posting at least a .500 record in each of the first three months of the 2012 season, Bradley will turn its attention to May ... The Braves have not posted a winning May record against Division I competition since 2007 (8-5).
Bradley earned its 11th 1-run victory of the season by holding off Evansville, 6-5, Sunday ... For the season, Bradley is 11-4 (.733) in games decided by one run, a school-record for 1-run wins ... Indiana State is second to Bradley among teams in The Valley with a 9-6 record in 1-run games this season.
For a complete preview of this weekend's baseball series versus Bradley, click the above link to the PDF version of Bradley's Baseball Game Notes package.