It was a cool and brisk spring night in downtown Omaha last Tuesday as cross-town rivals Omaha and Creighton faced off at TD Amer-itrade Park for the two ball clubs only meeting of the season.
The Blue Jays (22-11, 6-2) entered the game seeking revenge from a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Mavericks last season. This time Omaha (17-20, 10-8) had to give it a go without Brett Bass who was two for four with three RBIs last year against the Jays.
The night was controlled by the Jays from the first inning on after a one-two-three inning to start for the Mavs, Daniel Woodrow started things off for the Jays with a single up the middle. He was later batted in from third by Blue Jay clean-up hitter Brett Murray.
As the second inning came around, the woes continued for Maverick fans. Landon Lucansky found the right field line to let one drop for his second double of the season.
After the nine-hole hitter was walked, the top of the Blue Jay lineup came back around with runners on first and second. Woodrow reached base after Maverick second basemen Isaac Holt mishandled the toss to first from a grounder he re-covered allowing one more Blue Jay to score.
Greg Gausden came in to relieve sophomore Mitch Larson (0-2) who got the start as well as the loss on the mound for the Mavericks. Gausden was welcomed to the mound by Blue Jay shortstop Nicky Lopez who lined one into shallow right-center scoring a pair of Jays making it 4-0.
In the third inning the Jays plated one more run, but it also saw red-shirt freshmen Isaac Holt make-up for a throwing-error early in the game by making a diving stop to prevent one extra run from scoring.
The fourth inning saw more slick defensive stops in the infield, unfortunately Lopez was able to beat out Omaha’s Clayton Taylor div-ing stop and throw from shortstop. Lopez stole second the very next pitch leaving two Jays in scoring position. Hard grounders were stopped by corner infielders Ryan Cate at first, and Justin Threlkeld at third to prevent any more Jays from scoring.
The fourth inning also saw junior Clayton Taylor get the Mavericks first hit of the night, before being stranded on the bases to end the side. This was a theme for both teams all night as the Mavericks stranded seven of their own on base, and the Jays eight.
The very next inning, Justin Threlkeld and Ryan Cate reached base, then Cate was caught in a run-down between second and third. He was tagged out, but gave enough time for Threlkeld to reach second base where he eventually got to third, and was hit home by Alex Schultz to give the Mavs their first run of the game.
Creighton would go on to plate three more runs in the seventh inning after an RBI double. Brett Sasse’s pitch flew by freshman Jake Cockle behind the plate to score another Jay from third.
With the Mavs down 8-1 head-ing into the eighth, freshmen Cole Gruber started the Mavs off with a lead-off double scorched down the left field line. He eventually would reach home on a Daniel Jewett single to bring the Blue Jay lead down to six runs where it went final Blue Jays 8, Mavericks 2.
The Mavs just couldn’t get the bats going on a chilly overcast evening, and this season has shown when the bats don’t ignite, the Mavs are in trouble. The Blue Jays bag of tricks which seemed to be their bullpen seemed never-ending as they brought in ten pitchers with Matt Warren (3-2) getting the win.
The most any one Jay pitched was two whole innings, as three only saw one batter and another didn’t even record an out. Omaha was outhit 7 to 14 by the Jays, and also had three recorded errors on the night.
Base running didn’t help the Mavs the way they would’ve liked with two runners caught stealing and giving up five bases to runners.
The Mavericks return to action this week with a three-game home series with the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Friday through Sunday at the Ballpark at Boys Town with all games beginning at 1 p.m.