MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The Omaha baseball team snapped a 12-game losing skid Wednesday night, taking down Kansas State 5-2 at Tointon Family Stadium. With the win, the Mavericks are now 2-14 on the season, while the Wildcats drop to 12-5.
Junior Parker Smejkal had a 2-for-4 night at the plate with a double, a triple, two RBI and a run scored to lead the Mavericks.
Senior right-hander Eric Moreno (1-0) earned his first win of the year, tossing 2.0 shutout innings with no hits while striking out two Wildcats and allowing no walks. The loss went to Colton Kalmus (0-1), who gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. Junior right-hander James Smith picked up his first save, limiting K-State to one hit in the ninth with a strikeout.
Omaha wasted no time getting its offense started in the top of the first, as freshman Cole Thibodeau led off with a bunt single, stole second and third, then scored on an infield single by junior Ryan Cate. Senior Sam Palensky, who had reached on a four-pitch walk, then came in via a failed pickoff attempt on Cate, which spotted the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
Omaha again made quick work in the fourth, as junior Adam Caniglia worked a full-count walk to lead off and immediately scored on an RBI triple to right center by Smejkal. Sophomore Nate Mallott followed by doubling down the left field line to drive in Smejkal and extended the lead to 4-0.
K-State got on the board in the fourth when Josh Rolette's double down the left field line scored Jake Wodtke for the Wildcats' first run. They added another when Jake Scudder crossed as Hanz Harker reached on a fielder's choice, cutting Omaha's lead in half at 4-2.
The Mavericks responded immediately with an insurance run in the fifth. Caniglia was hit by a pitch, then scored when Smejkal doubled down the left field line to make it 5-2.
K-State managed to put a runner on in each of the last five frames, but Omaha's bullpen held strong to preserve the victory.
The Mavericks open Summit League play this weekend, welcoming South Dakota State on Friday, March 17. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at Seymour Smith Park, and links to live stats and audio will be available on OMavs.com.