By Jared Meyer, Sports Editor
After a long trip to the Pacific Northwest, the UNO baseball team returned to the region and faced Missouri last Tuesday and Northern Colorado over the weekend. The Mavs fell 14-4 to the Tigers in Columbia, Mo. then went 1-2 against the Bears in Greely, Col.
UNO had some of their best offensive production of the season, scoring 29 runs in the four games and hitting .352 over that span. The Mavs couldn’t quite match that same performance with their pitching and defense.
The staff surrendered a 9.56 ERA in four games while the defense committed six errors. Despite allowing 34 runs, UNO pitchers walked just 16 while striking out 27.
Tuesday it was all Tigers. Missouri got off to a three-run first inning then added three more in the fourth. The Tigers put a seven spot in the sixth inning and cruised past the Mavericks 14-4.
Senior starting pitcher Andrew Reck (0-3) took the loss allowing six hits, three earned runs and two strikeouts. The highlight for the Mavs was senior catcher Colby McCord and sophomore infielder Caleb Palensky. The Papillion natives both had career days at the plate combining on a 7 for 8 performance
McCord went 4-for-4 and Palensky went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI’s and a run scored.
Friday the Mavs had a 4-3 lead after the first three innings, but Northern Colorado tied it in the fourth. UNO answered back with a run in the fifth to reclaim the lead, but the Bears scored four in the bottom of the inning and won 9-5.
McCord had another great day at the plate going 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, while sophomore outfielder Beau Suponchick also had two hits and an RBI. Suponchick extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Freshmen infielder Alex Mortensen hit his first career home run and had two RBI’s. Junior pitcher Matt Tew (0-2) took the loss as he gave up eight runs, seven earned over 11 hits, and one strikeout in four and a third innings.
In the doubleheader on Saturday, the Mavs split with Northern Colorado, winning 8-1 in game one and losing 13-12 in game two. In game one, UNO took a commanding lead by scoring three in the second and three more in the fourth.
The Mavs also had single runs in the third and sixth innings, eventually earning their third win of the year 8-1. Senior infielder and MLB draft prospect Brady Hohl went a perfect 4 for 4 with four runs scored and an RBI.
Hohl also had a career-best three stolen bases. Splichal (2 for 3), Palensky (2 for 3), and Suponchick (2 for 4) all had multi-hit games for the Mavs and Mortensen would hit a homerun for the second straight game.
Senior starter Cory Buckley (1-2) would earn his first win of the season pitching a gem for UNO. Buckley went five and a third fanning five, giving up three hits and one run. His five strikeouts tied his career-best mark.
In game two, it came down to the final inning with the teams tied 12-12 in the ninth. The Bears scored the game-winning run off an RBI double and dropped the Mavs record to 3-12.
Hohl had one of his best games of the year, hitting 2 for 4. Both hits were two-run homeruns. Hohl tied his career-high RBI number with five batted in and also scored two runs.
McCord (3 for 5) also hit a homer and had three RBI and three runs scored. Mortensen, Mark Waldron and Buckley each had three its apiece.
Both teams combined for 36 hits in the game, and UNO had a season best 18. The Mavs had leads of 8-4 in the fourth and 11-8 in the seventh but the bullpen gave u five over the last three innings.
UNO scored a run in the top of the ninth to make it 12-12, but Northern Colorado had one on and one out in the bottom of the ninth. The Bears moved that runner to third with a double, drew a walk with the next batter, then won the game with a single to left center.
After UNO’s first home game of the season Monday afternoon at 2 against BYU, the Mavs will then be playing games in Florida through March 20. UNO returns to play at Creighton on March 27.