CWS 2023: Creighton’s Baseball Analytics Team returns

Creighton's Baseball Analytics Team is called up to the Greatest Show on Dirt.
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 4:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The National Collegiate Athletics Association has enlisted the Creighton Baseball Analytics Team to help report statistics during the College World Series.

The students work alongside CWS officials in the NCAA room at Charles Schwab Field.

CBAT was founded years ago by then-student Ryan Wolak, by chance. It all started when Wolak went to a Bluejays game.

“I brought my notebook along, I was supposed to be studying, didn’t last very long, I started keeping a book on the game,” he said.

Wolak says a friend with Creighton Athletics saw him taking stats, knew Creighton Baseball needed this kind of help, and the rest is history.

CBAT eventually garnered the attention of the NCAA, which enlisted CBAT for the first time in 2022 to help post stats for the CWS. Wolak says it’s a homerun.

“It’s impossible to understate because in college baseball, every single team in the country starts their season with one word, and that word is Omaha, right?” he said.

Here’s how CBAT works. Students take data from a radar that’s on the concourse mapping out the game. CBAT posts the data online and analyzes it. They look for things like pitching or batting patterns or trends for fans to follow. However, it’s also information athletes can use to improve their game and help teams perform better overall.

“The best way I can explain it is, it’s helping the players become the best version of themselves they can and helping us gain as much as a competitive advantage on our opponents as we can,” Wolak said.

CBAT is open to any Creighton student, though now it mainly consists of students who want to work in the sport behind the scenes.

“There’s no better hands-on experience than working in a professional environment. We do everything we think a big-league front office would do from an analytics standpoint,” Wolak said. “It’s invaluable. These are resume items for the students.”

All this translates to even more exciting games for the fans while mapping out the sport’s future.

“Baseball is becoming a game of data, everyone has it, and everyone is finding people who know how to use it,” Wolak said.

Students in CBAT do most of the work on their own time. Wolak says they are not paid, but sometimes they get credit hours.