Mavericks Belt Five Homers in Twinbill With NDSU
Omaha bashed five home runs as a team for the day, led by two from senior Caleb Palensky. Junior Daniel Jewett and sophomores Clayton Taylor and Cole Gruber finished with one apiece.
GAME 1 -- OMAHA 7, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 2
Jewett led the Mavericks in the opening game, finishing 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Gruber (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI) and Palensky (2-for-3, one run, one RBI) also had multi-hit efforts.
The win went to sophomore Tyler Fox (7-1), who earned his league-leading seventh victory of the season. Fox threw 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts. David Ernst (3-3) took the loss, surrendering seven runs on nine hits and a pair of walks with four Ks.
Gruber led off the first inning with a solo homer to right, spotting UNO a 1-0 advantage.
The lead was exchanged in the top of the second when NDSU scored two runs on two hits. John Skrbec scored on Aiden Hook's RBI groundout to second, followed by Tim Colwell's RBI single through the right side that plated Michael Leach. It was all the offense the Bison could muster, however, as Omaha kept NDSU off the board for the rest of the game. The Mavs tied the game in the second with Jewett's solo homer to right center, making it 2-2.
In the fourth, Omaha posted a pair of runs on three hits. Sophomore Alex Schultz led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single through the right side by senior Brett Bass. Palensky then singled to the same place to drive in Schultz, and a bunt single down the third base line by Jewett loaded the bases. Tyler Splichal's flyout to center sacrificed in Bass for Omaha's second run, pushing the lead to 4-2.
The Mavericks' pair of runs in the fifth came compliments of Taylor, whose two-run shot to right made it 6-2. In the sixth, Palensky led off with a triple down the right field line and scored immediately on Jewett's RBI single up the middle, bringing the final tally to 7-2.
GAME 2 -- NORTH DAKOTA STATE 8, OMAHA 6 (10 inn.)
In the second game, Taylor finished 3-for-6 with a run and an RBI, while Gruber was 2-for-5 and scored twice. Palensky also tallied his two homers, accounting for four runs driven in.
The win went to reliever Jay Flaa (1-2), who threw 2.0 scoreless innings with three hits allowed, three walks and two strikeouts. Senior Anthony Falcone (1-4) was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk with a pair of Ks.
Omaha took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with Palensky's three-run bomb to left center, his first of the game.
The Mavericks added another run in the second to make it 4-0 when Gruber scored unearned as Bass reached on a fielder's choice. North Dakota State came back for a pair of runs in the fourth and another one in the fifth for a 4-3 ballgame.
UNO kept its lead by going up 5-3 in the fifth on Palensky's solo roundtripper to right center. The Bison, however, surged ahead 6-5 with three runs in the seventh inning.
Omaha knotted the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth when Gruber was driven in on a single up the middle by Taylor. The tie held until the top of the 10th, when NDSU scored two runs for all the offense it needed to take the 8-6 extra-innings win.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, April 26, hosting North Dakota State for a second doubleheader at the Ballpark at Boys Town. First pitch is set for Noon, and links to live stats and audio will be available on OMavs.com.