Omaha baseball drops three close games against Oral Roberts


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Jackson Taylor

The Omaha baseball team’s mid-season funk continued over the weekend, going 0-3 at Oral Roberts for their fifth straight loss. The Mavericks fell 6-4 on Friday, then 6-3 and 3-2 on Saturday. Omaha is now 17-19 (8-7 Summit League) on the season. Oral Roberts improved to 23-12 (12-3 Summit League).

Game 1: L 6-4

RHP Tyler Fox (6-2) made the start and took the loss for UNO, giving up six runs on 11 hits. The senior walked two batters and struck out four in his 7.0 innings of work. Fox was relieved by senior Brett Sasse who looked strong in his 1.0 inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

Omaha was paced offensively by sophomore Ryan Cate who finished 3-for-5 from the plate with three singles and an RBI. Senior Clayton Taylor and freshman Riley Herold also chipped in multi-hit performances. As a team, the Mavericks tallied 10 hits but struck out 12 times and left 12 runners on base.

Omaha jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. Senior Alex Schultz reached on an error to start the game and moved to third after a sacrifice bunt and Taylor reaching on a wild pitch. Cate followed with an 2-RBI single to create the 2-0 start.

The Mavericks tacked on a third run in the fourth inning when Herold singled and scored on Schultz’ double down the right field line.

ORU attacked the Omaha lead in the fifth, as Chase Stafford sent a two-run shot over the wall making it 3-2. The score became 4-2 when freshman Jack Kalina singled to score freshman Grant Suponchick in the sixth inning.

The Golden Eagles rallied to take the lead with four runs over the next two innings off a homerun and a bases-loaded double, giving ORU the 6-4 advantage.

Game 2: L 6-3

Junior LHP Sam Murphy (2-2) was dealt the loss in the game, surrendering six runs on seven hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts over 7.0 innings.

Suponchick had another clutch game at the plate for UNO going 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Maverick offense. Omaha tallied seven hits, struck-out eight times and left eight runners on base as a team. The Maverick defense committed two errors on the day.

Oral Roberts struck quickly in the bottom of the first, recording three runs on two hits and an error. Omaha would retaliate with a three-sport of its own in the top of the third. After loading the bases with no outs, Taylor singled to short, sophomore Adam Caniglia reached on a fielder’s choice and Suponchick placed a single to make the score 3-3.

ORU broke out again in the fourth inning scoring two runs in a two-out rally and then tacked one more run on in the fifth creating the final mark of 6-3.

Game 3: L 3-2

Sophomore RHP Corey binger (4-3) made the start and took the loss in the finale, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 6.0 innings.

The lackluster Omaha offense was led by Caniglia and Herold who each went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Caniglia also tallied an RBI on the game. Omaha totalled seven hits, struck out nine times and left six runners on base.

ORU again struck in the first inning, using three hits to scratch across the first run of the contest. Omaha was kept silent for the early innings but came up with two runs in the fifth inning. Herold reached base on a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Kalina groundout. Caniglia singled to bring in Herold and a pair of singles from Schultz and Gruber brought in the second run.

The Golden Eagles tied the game up in their half of the fifth and retook the lead in the seventh after stringing together three hits.

Omaha will look to rebound with a five-game homestand starting Wednesday, April 20 as they host Kansas State. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Werner Park.