Game 1: W 7-2
Omaha earned the win in the first of their three-game series against Grand Canyon University on Friday 7-2.
Senior RHP Tyler Fox (2-1) earned the win, allowing just one run on four hits, a walk and three strikeouts over 7.0 innings. Junior LHP Sam Murphy earned his first save of the season after coming in to close out the final 2.0 innings of the game. Murphy gave up one run on three hits and struck three.
Omaha’s offensive effort was led by senior Cole Gruber, who went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks and three RBI in the game. Sophomore Riley Herold followed with a 2-for-4 performance.
The match began as a pitcher’s duel, as Fox and Perez kept the scoreboard clean through the first two innings. Omaha struck first in the top of the third when Gruber hit a two-out RBI single to score Herold.
GCU responded with a run in their half of the inning to tie the game at 1.
Two innings of shutout pitching followed until UNO struck for two runs in the sixth. Back to back doubles from Gruber and Taylor gave Omaha the lead, then a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Cole Patterson brought Taylor in to make it 3-1. In the seventh, UNO was only able to scratch one run across on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.
With Murphy in to close out the last two innings, GCU strung together three hits to score a run making it 4-2.
Murphy was given some insurance runs in the top of the ninth when the Mavericks added three runs on two hits and an error. Herold, Collin Leif and Alex Schultz all scored in the inning. Murphy sat GCU down in order with two strikeouts and a ground out in the final half frame.
Game 2: L 9-4
Sophomore RHP David Flattery got the start in game two. Flattery went 5.0 innings and produced a line of seven hits, three earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts. He would earn a no decision on the day.
Jack Kalina, Adam Caniglia and Riley Herold led UNO offensively, with each going 2-for-4 on the night.
Omaha jumped out to an early lead when Gruber walked and Taylor plated him with a double to the right-center gap. Kalina singled to score Taylor and put the Mavs up 2-0.
GCU stole one back in the first after a walk, double and single.
Both teams manufactured a run each in the third inning. GCU took the lead in the sixth when Marcus Ethen surrendered three straight singles.
The Lopes extended their lead in the eight, off a Paul Panacionne grand slam, putting them up 9-3.
Caniglia, Herold and Leif staged a small late-game rally in the ninth to scratch across another run, but it proved to be too little too late for the Mavericks.
Game 3: L 12-4
Sophomore RHP Corey Binger started on the mound for UNO the series finale. The Minnesota-native went 3.0 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, and issuing 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Ryan Cate relieved Binger of pitching duties in the 4th inning. The sophomore lasted 1.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits. RHP Brett Sasse relieved Cate in the fifth.
Omaha started things off in the top of first with two runs off three singles from Gruber, Taylor and Palensky.
GCU responded with two runs in their half of the first. After Binger sat down the first two batters on strikes, a hit-by-pitch and three singles saw the Lopes tie the game.
In the second inning, GCU took 3-2 lead off three more hits and then tacked on another in the third.
Omaha went scoreless from the second until the fifth inning when the Mavs rallied to tie the game at 4 with two outs. Kalina singled and Palensky doubled before a Canglia 2 RBI base hit.
GCU retook the lead with three runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to make to make the final 12-4.