Gruber Leads Mavs Past Stephen F. Austin, 10-4
PAPILLION, Neb. -- The Omaha baseball team played its final home game of the season Tuesday night, defeating Stephen F. Austin 10-4 at Fricke Field. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 27-20 entering their final weekend of play, while the Lumberjacks drop to 18-34.
Sophomore Cole Gruber led UNO with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, scoring twice and driving in four runs. The Papillion, Neb., native also had three stolen bases, bringing his Summit League-leading total to 32 for the season.
Sophomore Alex Schultz was 3-for-3 with a trio of runs scored, while junior Daniel Jewett added another three hits with a run and an RBI. Sophomore Clayton Taylor rounded out the Mavericks' multi-hit performers, going 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Sophomore Sam Murphy (3-1) picked up the win in relief, throwing 2.0 innings while giving up one run on two hits with a strikeout and no walks. The loss went to Patrick Ledet (0-5), who was responsible for four runs on six hits and a walk with one strikeout.
The Mavericks opened up the scoring with four runs on three hits in the second inning. A two-out, two-run single up the middle by Gruber first allowed Jewett and Schultz to score. Then Gruber was caught in a rundown between first and second, and junior Dawson Porter scored on the fielder's choice. Gruber proceeded to steal third and came in on a Taylor RBI infield single to make it 4-0.
Stephen F. Austin cut it to a one-run ballgame in the fourth, stringing together three straight singles and a double en route to a three-run, four-hit inning.
Leading 4-3, Omaha added two more runs in the fifth. Bass led off with a single to left and later scored on Jewett's RBI single through the left side. Three batters later, Schultz came across when sophomore Collin Leif got a bases-loaded walk, bringing the score to 6-3.
SFA struck back for a run in the sixth when Dan O'Neill doubled down the left field line and scored on Mackenzie Handel's subsequent RBI single to center. The Mavericks put four more insurance runs on the board in the seventh, though, started with a two-out, two-run double down the left field line from Gruber that plated Schultz and Splichal. Taylor followed in the next at-bat by going the opposite way, sending another two-run double down the right field line that scored Gruber and sophomore Marcus Ethen, bringing UNO's final tally to 10-4.
Omaha returns to action on Thursday, May 15, traveling to Western Illinois to kick off a four-game conference series to close the 2014 season. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. in Macomb, Ill., and links to live stats and audio will be available on OMavs.com. UNO and WIU are tied for the Summit League lead heading into the weekend and will contend for a conference championship this weekend.