Winning is a good thing. The two in-state rivals who will meet at TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday aren’t going to dispute that.
But with all the postponements, cancellations and travel changes that Creighton and Nebraska have experienced so far this spring, neither team seems to have settled into a routine just yet. Roles are still developing. Identities are still being formed.
Yet the two ball clubs are finding success.
The Jays (11-5) have won four games in a row. The Huskers (11-7) are on a five-game winning streak. And they’ll meet Tuesday in the first installment of this year’s three-game rivalry series — both motivated to ensure that the result doesn’t disrupt the recent progress.
“We’re finding ways to win — and really, in my opinion, we’re not playing well. That’s probably a good sign, I think,” Creighton coach Ed Servais said. “Once we start playing at the level I think we’re capable of, it could be a special season for us.”
Servais usually can speak with more certainty by this time of year.
But he stood on the dirt just in front of the third-base dugout in his team’s home ballpark Monday afternoon and admitted that he’s still struggling to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses.
He described a lineup that’s shown promise but has too many swing-and-miss tendencies. The pitching staff is full of veterans but hasn’t thrown enough strikes. But will all that continue?
“We’re still trying to get consistent,” Servais said.
Nebraska can relate.
Coach Darin Erstad spoke Sunday about the importance of finding some regularity within the day-to-day schedule.
NU just hosted its first two midweek games of the season last week. Even its weekend series against Michigan State had to be adjusted — Nebraska played a doubleheader Friday before finishing things out Sunday.
“That’s what the baseball season’s made for,” Erstad said. “Hopefully we can get in a good rhythm here, get some decent weather and start rolling off some games and let these boys just start having some fun.”
The Huskers hope to be celebrating a win Tuesday.
They didn’t defeat CU last year — the Jays swept the three-game season series from Nebraska for the first time. NU was 10-2 in the 12 previous matchups against Creighton, though.
And most of those games have been competitive. In fact, 10 of those 15 were decided by three runs or fewer. Tuesday should be no different.
“Home opener against Nebraska — the weather should be good. It’s exciting,” Jays second baseman Isaac Collins said. “You can’t ask for any more than that.”
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: TD Ameritrade Park
Radio: 1600 AM, 105.5 FM
Projected starters: Fr. LHP Kyle Perry (1-0, 6.35) vs. TBD