Mavs start hot but fall to Hawkeyes

photo courtesy Omaha Athletics
Ray Koch
Sports Editor
Evan Porter’s UNO Mavericks took a five-run lead into the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. What seemed to be a reasonable cushion slowly slipped out of the grasps of the Mavs’ hands, as the Hawkeye’s launched a six-run assault over the final three innings to win the game, 9-8.

After UNO scored a pair of runs in each the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Mavs posted an 8-3 lead heading into the seventh-inning stretch. The rest of the scoring, however, would be done by the hosts. Iowa’s Jake Adam’s sent out solo home runs in the seventh and eighth inning to cut the Maverick’s lead to 8-5. Later in the eighth, a two-run Iowa double cut the lead to just one run for Omaha heading into the final inning.

With two runners on in the ninth, the Hawkeye’s Chris Whelan sent a liner up the middle to plate home the tying run. The following sequence saw a fielding error by the Mavericks that resulted in the game-winning run crossing the plate for the Hawkeyes. The final three innings had a completely different feel than the rest of the game.

UNO came out of the gates fearless against the highly-touted Hawkeye’s. With two on in the first, Riley Herold singled to score Sam Palensky. Ryan Cate added a sacrifice-fly RBI before the first frame was over, and the Mavs were sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead. After Iowa tied it up in the third, Nate Mallott hit a two-run dinger in the fourth inning to put the Mavs back on top. Jack Kalina added a two-run double in the fifth, and Adam Caniglia capped the Mav’s scoring with a bomb to left for a two-run homer in the sixth for the Maverick’s eighth and final run.

The Maverick’s used six pitchers Tuesday night, with Corey Binger taking the loss in a save opportunity. The loss pushes the Maverick’s record to 12-37, while the Hawkeye’s improve to 32-18. UNO concludes its regular season with an away series against South Dakota State on Thursday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.