Creighton's coaches are scrambling to put together a scouting report on Georgia, the Bluejays' opening-round opponent in the NCAA baseball tournament.
Pitching coach Rob Smith said he expects to have a fairly detailed report assembled by the time the teams face off at 3 p.m. Friday in Corvallis, Ore.
“The lucky thing is that this is the information age,” Smith said. “They have two games online that we can watch on the SEC website. That's one option we have to see their hitters.
“We'll go back and look at box scores and play-by-plays, and that will give us a chance to have their at-bats charted. We'll talk to people. We'll have as much information as you can possibly have on a team having never played them. it comes down to whether we can execute our play.”
Right-hander Jonas Dufek will start Friday's game against the Bulldogs at Goss Stadium. With Dufek's style, Smith said, a scouting report likely won't dramatically alter how the senior attacks the Georgia lineup.
“He's probably going to pitch the same regardless of the opponent,” Smith said. “He's versatile enough that he can pitch to various types of teams. He's got a fastball in the low 90s, and he has two or three different types of off-speed pitches that he can utilize.
“That really gives him options as we get into these tournaments. He maybe has to adjust as we get midway through games.”
At this point in the season, Creighton head coach Ed Servais is as concerned about getting good reads on his own team as he is on the opponent.
“You worry a little about mental fatigue at this point,” Servais said. “We haven't shared as much information with our guys these last two weeks or so as we did earlier in the season. We tried to simplify things as much as possible.
“We just wanted to execute every inning. Earlier in the year, we might spend a half hour or 40 minutes on an opponent. We're pulled back on that a little bit. We didn't want to give them too much clutter. We just wanted them to execute.”
Georgia scouting Jays
Georgia coach David Perno and his staff also will be compiling as much information as they can on the 25th-ranked Jays. Like Servais, though, he's more concerned about what his players are doing than the opponent.
The Bulldogs play in the Southeastern Conference, generally regarded as the toughest baseball league in the country.
“If you start worrying too much about what the other teams have, it can be overwhelming,” Perno said. “When you're playing Vanderbilt and South Carolina and Florida, it can beat you down if you get caught up too much in what the other teams can do.
“Our mantra is that no matter where or who we're playing, we just have to concentrate on ourselves.”
Creighton worked out Tuesday at the on-campus CU Sports Complex, and Servais said the one-hour practice was much crisper than Monday's.
“The guys had a little more bounce today,” he said.
The players got Sunday off after playing six games in four days in winning the Missouri Valley tournament.
“That whole tournament, we were basically just running on adrenaline,” Dufek said. “No one noticed it until a couple days after, and it finally caught up with us.
“We're back now and ready to go. Going into the NCAAs, we're going to have that same kind of adrenaline. We'll be ready for it.”
Jays leave Wednesday
CU will leave Wednesday morning for Oregon. The Jays are on three flights because not enough seats could be found to accommodate the travel party on one flight.
Servais said he hopes the team can get a short workout in after arriving in Corvallis. The Bluejays will practice at Goss Stadium on Thursday.
“I'm hoping we can get some (batting) cage work for about 50 minutes to an hour,” he said.
• This will be Creighton's third trip to the tournament under Servais. No other CU coach made more than two regional appearances.
• Creighton is 5-0 against teams in the NCAA tournament. The Bluejays swept a four-game series early in the season against New Mexico and also defeated Kansas State on April 12 in the last game at the Sports Complex.
• CU was one of two teams nationally that had to win five games to claim its conference tournament title. Texas State also won five times in securing the Southland Conference's automatic bid.
• The Jays are third among the nation's most-improved teams in 2011. The Bluejays posted a 44-14 record this season after going 27-25, an improvement of plus-14.0 over the two seasons. Long Island (plus-16.5) and Gonzaga (plus-14.5) ranked ahead of Creighton but did not make the NCAA field.
— Steven Pivovar