Omaha suffers walkoff loss at Kansas

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Andrew Nelson
CONTRIBUTOR

The Omaha baseball team was in Lawrence, Kansas last Wednesday night for a showdown with the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks (13-18). The Mavericks made the quick pit stop in Kansas on their way to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a weekend series with Summit League leaders Oral Roberts, which they eventually lost in a sweep of three games. Omaha fell to the Jayhawks 7-6 in 10 innings.

Wednesday night was a chance to get some momentum coming into the big weekend series between the top two teams in the Summit. Kansas got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, but Omaha answered quickly in the second and took the lead 2-1. Designated hitter Ryan Cate got on with a double, then second basemen Sam Palensky walked, and both runners were put in scoring position after a Jayhawk balk. Freshman first basemen Grant Suponchick hit a two-RBI single to right field to take the lead the following at-bat.

The Jayhawks scored one run in each of the next two innings, one on a wild pitch, to push their lead to 4-2 going into the top of the fifth. The fifth inning was scoreless for both teams, but once again Omaha struck for one more multi-run inning to take the lead.

Third-basemen Clayton Taylor walked, then catcher Adam Caniglia singled to put two on for the Mavs. Taylor advanced to third and then home on a pair of wild pitches that got Caniglia all the way to third. Palensky knocked in Caniglia to tie the game at 4, but Suponchick drove in his third RBI of the night to help his team take a 5-4 lead the next at-bat.

The Mavs would load the bases in the sixth inning with no outs, but could only muster a Taylor sac fly that brought home freshman left fielder Jack Kalina, and just like that the Mavs were up by two runs.

Kansas, which never scored more than one in an inning all night, but up one in the seventh after a two-out single, put the Jayhawks left fielder/catcher Michael Tinsley on. Next Colby Wright scored on a double to centerfield. In the eighth inning, the Jayhawks turned to some clutch pinch-hit at-bats to tie the game once more before heading to extra innings.

The Jayhawk’s Devin Foyle came in to pinch-hit and drove in a run on a double down the right field line to tie the game 6-6 heading into the ninth. Foyle entered the game as the left fielder, and would come up again in the bottom of the tenth. Foyle drew a leadoff walk then advanced to third on a sac-bunt, and wild pitch by Omaha’s Eric Moreno. Tinsley hit a single to right field, plating Foyle, and giving the Jayhawks the 7-6 win.

Moreno (0-1) was tagged with the loss, while Kansas pitcher Stephen Villines (4-1) earned the win tossing the final two innings in relief where he allowed just one hit, and four Mavs strikeouts. The Mavericks will face-off against the Kansas State Wildcats this Wednesday night at Werner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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