OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha baseball team opened its weekend series with Western Illinois Friday afternoon, falling 14-4 in seven innings at Seymour Smith Park. The Mavericks are now 6-23 (4-6 Summit League), while the Leathernecks improve to 8-19 (5-5).
WIU's Ian Koch tossed the complete-game victory, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. The loss went to junior right-hander Corey Binger (3-5), who gave up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.
Sophomore Grant Suponchick went 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and another driven in.
Mitch Ellis led Western Illinois with a 4-for-4 day with an RBI. Chris Tschida (3-for-5, two runs, three RBI), Cord Church (2-for-4, two runs, three RBI) and Adam McGinnis (2-for-4, one run, one RBI) also had multi-hit efforts.
The Leathernecks plated two runs in both the second and third innings, one in the fourth and seven in the sixth to build a 12-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Omaha found momentum in its half of the frame, putting two runners aboard with consecutive one-out singles from senior Sam Palensky and freshman Cole Thibodeau. Suponchick then delivered an RBI single through the left side to drive in Palensky for the Mavericks’ first run. Junior Ryan Cate followed with a single to center to load the bases, and Thibodeau then scored on a wild pitch to make it 12-2. After a walk by pinch hitter Andrew Hall juiced the bags again, sophomore Riley Herold came through with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to center to drive in Suponchick. Omaha added its fourth and final run when senior Marcus Ethen reached on a Leatherneck fielding error, which allowed Cate to score for a 12-4 tally.
WIU mustered two more runs in the top of the seventh, bringing the final score to 14-4.
Omaha and Western Illinois resume their series on Saturday, April 7. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Seymour Smith Park, and links to live stats and audio will be available on OMavs.com.