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Sophomore Marcus Ethen (3-1) earned the win against Western Illinois on Sunday.
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Mavericks Split Doubleheader With Western Illinois

Courtesy: Omaha Athletics
         
Release: April 06, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha baseball team split a conference doubleheader with Western Illinois on Sunday, securing a 7-3 win in game one before falling 2-0 in game two at the Ballpark at Boys Town. The Mavericks are now 14-12 (3-3 Summit League), while the Leathernecks are 6-17 (3-3 Summit League).

GAME 1 -- OMAHA 7, WESTERN ILLINOIS 3
Junior Daniel Jewett led the offensive charge in the first game, finishing 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Senior Caleb Palensky was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored and his second home run of the season, while another two hits apiece came from senior Tyler Splichal (2-for-2, one run) and sophomore Clayton Taylor (2-for-4, one run, one RBI).

The win went to sophomore Marcus Ethen (3-1), who threw 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. The Omaha native walked two and struck out a career-high-tying five batters. WIU starter Aaron Michel (2-4) took the loss, giving up seven runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits in 4.1 innings.

Western Illinois jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning with Chris Tschida's two-run double to right center and Travis Stafford's RBI single up the middle.

Omaha tied it at 3-3 immediately in the bottom of the second. Palensky led off with a double to left, Splichal singled to right, and Jewett came through with an RBI bunt single that scored Palensky. Freshman Mark Handberg followed up with a sacrifice fly to center that brought in Splichal, and a Collin Leif sacrifice fly allowed Jewett to score.

The Mavericks added another trio of runs in the third with four hits and a Western Illinois error. Sophomore Alex Schultz started it with a leadoff walk, then scored on Taylor's RBI double to right. Taylor then scored on a WIU throwing error. Senior Brett Bass followed with a single to right, and Palensky's sacrifice bunt put him in scoring position. Splichal's single to right put Bass on third, and Jewett singled through the right side to plate Bass and stretch the Mavericks' lead to 6-3.

UNO tacked on one more run in the fifth with Palensky's solo homer to left in the bottom of the fifth, pushing it to the final score of 7-3. Senior Josh Bullock threw the final 2.0 innings, holding the Leathernecks to one hit while tallying three strikeouts.

GAME 2 -- WESTERN ILLINOIS 2, OMAHA 0
Despite a solid outing on the mound in game two, senior Steven Schoonover (0-1) took the loss in his third appearance of the season. Schoonover tossed a season-long 7.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts. The win went to Tyler Willman, who threw a complete-game shutout and limited Omaha to five hits. For the day, Willman walked four and struck out five.

Taylor was 3-for-4 in the second game, while Bass and Jewett each finished with one hit apiece.

Both teams were scoreless until the top of the seventh, when Western Illinois put up one run with Brent Turner's RBI single to center to score Jake Moore. The Leathernecks added an insurance run in the ninth as Tanner Glore scored when Tschida reached on a fielder's choice.

Omaha returns to action on Saturday, April 12, traveling to North Dakota State for a conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. in Fargo, N.D., and links to live stats will be available on OMavs.com.
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