Mavs handle UND, going 2-1 for the weekend


By Ryan Matheny, Contributor

The Omaha Baseball team won their home-opening series of the 2015 season, taking two of three games from North Dakota at Millard North High School.  The Mavericks (7-8) begin Summit League play this weekend, hosting South Dakota State on March 13–15 at the Ballpark at Boys Town.

The Mavericks took their 2015 home-opener from North Dakota, outlasting UND 8–5. Tyler Fox picked up his second win of the young season, tossing 5.0 innings with four strikeouts while allowing four runs. Alex Mortensen drove in three runs and finished a perfect 4-for-4 to lead the team at the plate.

After holding UND scoreless in the first, Omaha jumped out to a quick 3–0 lead courtesy of four hits and a North Dakota error. The Mavericks added to their lead in the second with two runs on three hits and two UND errors.

North Dakota responded in the third when Ryan Reese deposited a 2–2 pitch onto 144th Street for a three-run homer to cut the Omaha lead to 5–3. UND added another run in the fifth on a Tyler Follis solo shot.

Omaha added three insurance runs in the eighth when Mortensen hit a two-RBI double. Mortensen then came in to score on a Daniel Jewett sac fly.

A Jeff Campbell sacrifice fly added one run for UND in the ninth, but Cole Volkers ended the threat for Omaha.

Pitching was the name of the game in game two, as senior Zach Williamsen delivered 7.0 shutout innings to propel Omaha to a 6–1 win.

Williamsen tied his career-high,fanning eight UND hitters and allowed just three hits.

Clayton Taylor went 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead the Mavericks att he plate. Two Mavericks also went deep in the game, with Mark Handberg hitting his first long ball of the year and Volkers smacking his first career HR.

Omaha struck first in the third inning on a Taylor RBI-single. The Mavericks added two more runs in the forth on Volkers’ two-run blast.

Ryan Cate singled in a run in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4–0 for Omaha. In the sixth, Adam Caniglia singled and Handberg followed with a two-run homer to left field.

North Dakota scored their only run of the game in the eighth inning, getting three straight singles and a sacrifice fly off of Omaha relief pitcher Marcus Ethen.

Omaha jumped out to a quick 2–0 lead, but couldn’t hold on as they fell to North Dakota 4–2 in the finale of the three-game series.

The Mavericks raced out to a 2–0 lead in the first when Clayton Taylor doubled and Alex Mortensen walked. Both would come into score on back-to-back singles by Ryan Cate and Adam Caniglia.

The game remained 2–0 until North Dakota tallied a single run in the fifth on a Cooper Maas RBI-single. UND added another run in the sixth when Dalton Leuschke doubled in Jeff Campbell to even the game at 2–2.

North Dakota scored two more runs in the eighth off of Maverick reliever Shane Meltz. With two outs in the inning, Ryan Reese drew a walk, Leuschke doubled and Daniel Lockhert singled them both in to push the lead to 4–2.

Campbell sat the Mavericks down in order in the ninth to earn the save.