The Creighton Baseball team returned to the national rankings for the first time in two years after a 4-0 week that also saw junior third baseman Federico Castagnini earn MVC Player of the Week accolades.
The Jays are ranked No. 30 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Division I poll, CU's first ranking by that poll since finishing the 2011 season with a No. 28 ranking after a 45-16 season that included MVC regular-season and Tournament titles. CU was ranked five different weeks in 2011 by Collegiate Baseball, including No. 25 on April 18, a season-best No. 25 on May 30, and a No. 28 ranking on June 7, 13 and 30.
This spring's Creighton team is 18-6, the fourth time in 10 years under Ed Servais the Jays have won 18 (or more) of their first 24 contests.
Returning to the field from an injury on Friday that had kept him out for four games, Castagnini was instrumental in the Jays sweep of Bradley. The two-hole hitter for Creighton, the Verona, Italy native led Creighton with a .545 average (6-for-11) with four runs scored and two RBI in the series. He provided the decisive RBI in the Jays’ win on Friday (5-4), ripping a single past first base in the seventh inning. He closed the week with a .643 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage. He was also flawless in the field in nine chances.
Castagnini is the fourth different Bluejay to earn MVC Player of the Week plaudits this season, joining teammates Reagan Fowler (March 25), Jake Peter (March 18) and Alex Staehely (Feb. 18).
Creighton will play five games this week, beginning with Tuesday's 6:35 pm game at Nebraska that will air on KOZN (1620 AM) and be televised statewide on NET. CU freshman Tommy Strunc (4-0) will square off against NU's Brandon Pierce (1-3) on the hill.