Where: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, California
8:05 p.m. Friday: RH Matt Warren (5-2, 2.83 ERA in 2015) vs. LHP Ricky Thomas (4-3, 3.92)
4:05 p.m. Saturday: RH Rollie Lacy (6-1, 2.66) vs. RHP Jimmy Lambert (4-2, 4.66)
3:05 p.m. Sunday: RH Keith Rogalla (4-2, 3.66) vs. LH Anthony Arias (2-3, 5.40)
Scouting Creighton: Loaded with veteran players and pitchers, the Bluejays get a much-anticipated season underway. ... Matt Warren will be making his 32nd career start, and he begins the season with an 18-6 career record. Ten of Warren’s wins came in 2014. ... One of the advantages of having a deep pitching staff is that coach Ed Servais will basically use two starters in each of the first three games. “We’re not going to try to extend anyone this first week,” Servais said. “But we have so many guys with starting experience that we’ll piggyback them in trying to get us five and six innings and into the bullpen.”. ... Keith Oren, who started his collegiate career at Florida, will open at catcher for the Bluejays. He and Michael Emodi are expected to share catching duties this season.
Scouting Fresno State: The Bulldogs return six position players and five of their top pitchers from last season’s 31-win team. They were picked in a tie for third in the Mountain West preseason poll. ... Opening night starter Ricky Thomas followed up a solid freshman season by earning all-star status while pitching in the prestigious Cape Cod summer league. He posted a 9-0 record with a 0.92 ERA. He is considered the No. 6 left-hander on D1Baseball.com’s list of 2017 draft prospects. ... Outfielder Austin Guibor is the Bulldogs’ leading returning offensive player, having hit .339 in 2015. He tied for the league lead in triples with five, and he earned a spot on the Mountain West preseason all-conference team. ... Fresno State has won its last seven season-opening games and is 8-5 under coach Mike Batesole in first games.
Dugout chatter: Creighton leads the series with Fresno State 4-2. The teams met two seasons ago in Omaha, with the Bluejays winning both games. ... Creighton is 24-23 in season-opening games. The Bluejays are 8-4 in first games under Servais and have won five of the past six. ... Batesole starts the 2016 season two wins shy of 700 career victories. He has a career record of 698-512-1 over 20 seasons. ... This will be the first time since 2012 that Fresno State has opened the season against a team from outside of California and just the fifth time in Batesole’s 14 seasons as the Bulldogs’ coach.