The Omaha baseball team traveled south to Papillion last Wednesday night for a game with the instate rival Nebraska Cornhuskers at Werner Park.
The park, home to the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, is proving to be a “second home” to the Mavericks when hosting larger out-of-town opponents. And usually, it goes the out-of-town’s team way, which is exactly how Wednesday night’s game played out, in an 11-6 Omaha loss.
The Mavericks however, just like past performances at Werner Park, showed they could compete with the Huskers early taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a Cole Gruber home run.
Junior Shane Meltz started for Omaha on Wednesday against Nebraska-Lincoln.
Two innings later, the flood of mistakes came for the Mavericks. Omaha starter Shane Meltz tossed a wild pitch past back-up catcher Josh Scribner, starting in place of the injured Colin Leif, putting two Huskers into scoring position. The first Husker would score on a passed ball, while the second was knocked in by a single to take a 2-1 lead.
Clayton Taylor, who is second in the NCAA in RBIs on the season, tallied another one hitting in Alex Schultz to tie the game in the bottom of the third. The Huskers would add two more the next half-inning to stall any Maverick momentum.
Omaha would answer scoring a run in four of the last six innings, but Nebraska also scored in every remaining inning, including two runs in the fifth and ninth innings which didn’t stop the bleeding.
The Omaha bullpen’s control was the catalyst allowing runs throughout the night. However, freshmen back-up Josh Scribner was thrusted into the starting lineup rather unexpectedly after an injury last weekend to regular starting catcher Colin Leif.
A fielding error in the fourth allowed a Husker run, the Omaha bullpen walked in a run in the fifth and then a passed ball allowed another Husker to score for the second time in the night. A Maverick wild pitch scored a Husker run in the sixth, and a passed ball in the seventh pushed the Husker lead to 8-4.
Omaha would still fight back to within three after Clayton Taylor scored a run after a Sam Palensky ground out to make it 8-5. The Huskers would once again slowly fill the bases then push a couple singles through to score two more runs in the eighth. Nebraska added their final run in the ninth after Omaha’s Ryan Sweeney hit a batter with the bases loaded.
Omaha will get another chance at Nebraska later this season at Haymarket Park in Lincoln on Wednesday, May 11 at 6:35 p.m.