Last Wednesday night, the Maverick baseball team fell to in-state rival Nebraska 17 to 6 at Haymarket Park in Lincoln. The meeting on the diamond at Hawks Field marked the first time in fourteen years since the two teams have met. That game in 2000 ended in an 18 to 2 loss for the Mavs. The loss Wednesday night leaves UNO baseball 0-9 all-time against Nebraska. The loss drops the Mavs to 16-13 (5-3 Summit League) on the season as the Huskers improve to 25-14 (7-2 Big Ten).
Sophomores Cole Gruber and Alex Schultz got it started early for the Mavericks, both scoring on a Husker error in the top of the first to get an early 2-0 lead. However, the Cornhuskers would answer back with five of their own in the bottom of the inning. Those five runs came on just four hits as well as two errors by the Mavs.
The second inning was something out of a baseball horror movie for UNO as the Huskers batted around the line-up, scoring everyone at least once before the Mavs even recorded an out. Nebraska went on to score ten runs on eleven hits and took a 15-2 lead heading into the top of the third.
The Mavericks stayed strong, despite facing the gouging lead and scored three runs the following half inning. Once again, sophomores Gruber and Schultz scored thanks to a Brett Bass RBI single and Caleb Palensky sac fly. The third run of the inning for the Mavs was scored by another sophomore, Clayton Taylor, from an RBI single to center by senior Tyler Splichal.
NU would go on to score two more runs in the top of the fifth off of junior Zach Williamsen. Williamsen threw three innings, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks. This was the junior’s first relief appearence of the season. Seniors Josh Bullock, Dylan Casey and sophomore Sam Murphy would hold the Cornhuskers scoreless for the final three innings of the game.
The Mavs would tack on one final run in the eighth from an RBI double by current Summit League batting average leader, junior Daniel Jewett. Caleb Palensky would score the run for the Mavs on the double to left center. Kyle Kubat (3-2) would go on to get the win for the Huskers, allowing five runs, three earned, on seven hits over the course of six innings. Maverick senior Anthony Falcone (1-3) was scored with the loss, allowing four runs on just four hits.
Despite getting twelve hits to Nebraska’s seventeen, the Mavs just didn’t have the pitching that night to compete with Nebraska’s explosive offense. This was the 15th time this season the Mavs have had a double-digit hit night. Wednesday night’s game marked only the second time this season UNO has lost a game by double digits. UNO lost March 8 to Grand Canyon 14-0 in a shortened seven inning contest.
Nebraska was paced by a 4 for 5 night from infielder Steven Reveles, who also had an RBI and scored two runs. Outfielders Micael Pritchard and Austin Darby both went 3 for 4 on the night and combined for seven of the Huskers runs as well as scoring five runs between themselves. Junior Blake Headley also had a multi-hit game for NU going 2 for 4 scoring three runs and batting one in as well.
UNO was led by infielder Clayton Taylor, who went a perfect 3 for 3 on the night and also added a run and a walk. Gruber and Bass each had two hits as well. While Gruber scored twice, Bass had two RBIs. Redshirt freshman outfielder Danny Suiter also had two hits for the Mavs in front of the crowd of his hometown.
Nebraska is probably the best competition the Mavs have seen so far this season. The Cornhuskers are currently on a five game wining streak, and have notched some wins against some top tier teams. Some of these wins have included ranked teams such as Washington, UC Irvine, UNLV, Arkansas and Oregon State, one of last year’s CWS teams. These two teams will meet again Wednesday April 30 at Werner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.