PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Omaha baseball team kicked off its weekend series at Grand Canyon on Friday night, shutting out the Antelopes 6-0 at Brazell Stadium. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 5-4 (0-0 Summit League), while GCU drops to 4-8 (0-0 WAC).
Sophomore righty Tyler Fox (1-1) starred on the mound, allowing just two singles in his 7.0-inning outing. The Thornton, Colo., native struck out a season-high six batters and walked just one en route to his first win of the season. Sophomore Sam Murphy relieved Fox for the final two innings, holding Grand Canyon hitless while striking out two.
Jorge Perez (1-3) was charged with the loss, giving up six runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.
Offensively, sophomore Cole Gruber finished 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Sophomore Clayton Taylor belted his team-leading second home run of the year, going 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Seniors Caleb Palensky and Tyler Splichal and sophomore Connor Messinger also tallied two hits apiece for the evening. As a team, Omaha had 15 hits to Grand Canyon’s two.
Omaha got it started early, as Gruber led off the game with a single through the left side, then later scored on Taylor’s RBI single up the middle to go up 1-0 in the top of the first.
The Mavericks quickly pushed it to 3-0 in the second. Splichal singled to right and advanced on a wild pitch, followed by Messinger’s one-out RBI double to right. Gruber then doubled to left, scoring Messinger.
In the fifth, UNO added another trio of runs. Gruber led off the inning with a triple to right, and Schultz immediately drove him in with an RBI single up the middle. Taylor then planted a two-run shot over the rightfield wall, extending the lead to 6-0.
Grand Canyon managed a single in the second and another in the third but were otherwise hitless for the last six innings of the game. The ‘Lopes put just one runner on with a walk in the top of the ninth, but Omaha quelled the threat with a strikeout and a double play.
Omaha returns to action at GCU on Saturday, March 8 for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. at Brazell Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz., and a link to live stats will be available on OMavs.com.