There must have been something in the water. That is the only explanation for the offensive clinic that the Missouri Tigers and the Mavericks put on this weekend. In four games total, the two teams combined for 69 hits and 63 runs, 11 of those being home runs.
The bats were swinging right out of the gate on Friday afternoon as Mizzou plated two runs in the first inning, one of which on an error. The Tigers put up five more between the third and the fifth to make it a 7-0 ballgame. However, the Maverick bats finally woke up in the seventh. Omaha sent five runners across the plate in the inning, but the Tigers responded quickly with five runs of their own in the bottom half.
The Mavericks found themselves down 12-5 going into the eighth, but naturally, they battled back. Masen Prososki started off the inning with his second double of the day, Chris Esposito drove in two runs with a base hit, and Adam Gadsden was hit by a pitch to walk in another. Omaha scored two more in the eighth on costly Tiger errors and walks and went into the ninth only trailing by two.
The Mavericks had their two, three, and four-hole hitters due up to attempt to finish off the comeback, but the effort failed just short as Omaha dropped game one, 12-10.
Saturday proved to be much of the same story, but this time, the early results would go the other way. The Omaha bats wasted no time rolling out of bed as Esposito launched a 3-run home run in the first inning to give his squad an early lead. It was Esposito’s first of the three bombs in the series.
He tacked on another RBI with a single in the fourth, and his second home run of the day came in the seventh, bringing two more across the plate. Esposito finished game one of the doubleheader with seven RBI, as Omaha grabbed an impressive 17-11 win. It was also the first over an SEC opponent in program history.
In game two on Saturday, the bottom of the Mizzou order jumped on Maverick starter Easton Smith. The Tigers held a 6-0 lead after three innings and never looked back. Esposito had another homer late in the contest, his third and final of the day, but it was too little too late. Missouri took the second game of the twinbill and the third of the series with ease, 10-1.
Despite the score, Sunday proved to be the most competitive contest of the series. Omaha starter Richie Holetz went 5.2 innings and only gave up three runs. He also recorded three strikeouts. After Mizzou plated two runs in the sixth, the game stayed knotted up at three until the top of the ninth.
An Esposito triple started the Omaha rally, and a Brett Bonar base hit drove him in for the Mavericks first run of the frame. Prososki and Brayden Eckhout each added a double, and freshman Mike Boeve joined in on the fun with an RBI of his own.
The Mavericks scored six runs in the ninth, giving way to Jacob Mohler who came on for his second appearance of the season. Outside of a walk, Mohler sent the Tigers down in order and secured the win, 9-3.
The Mavericks will open Tal Anderson Field on Friday at 3 p.m. Omaha will welcome cross-town rival Creighton for a three-game series.