Omaha falls to 6-2 in conference: 1-2 weekend drops Omaha to 15-12 overall

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Jackson Taylor
SPORTS EDITOR

The Omaha baseball team went 1-3 in its weekend series with Western Illinois, moving the club to 15-13 (6-3 Summit League) on the season. Omaha won game 1 on Friday 6-1, lost 3-2 on Saturday and finished the weekend with a 10-2 loss?

Game 1: W 6-1

Senior RHP Tyler Fox improved to 6-1 on Friday, going 7.0 innings, allowing one run on seven hits, walking two and recording four strikeouts. Fox did not allow an extra base hit in his outing. WIU’s Aaron Michel (1-4) took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits in 6.0 innings of work.

The Omaha offense was led by senior infielder Clayton Taylor, who finished 2-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and three RBI.

Omaha jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the first and one in the second inning off Michel. Senior Alex Shultz led off the game with a single and Cole Gruber was hit by a pitch to follow. Taylor cleared the bases with a tri-ple and was then knocked in by a Ryan Cate sacrifice fly. UNO struck in the second when Collin Leif was driven in by a Taylor base hit.

Western Illinois chipped away at the 4-0 lead, scoring a run in the third inning off three hits. Omaha responded with a run in the fifth off an RBI single from Grant Supon-chick and tacked on another in the eighth when Gruber walked with the bases loaded.

Game 2: L 3-2

Junior LHP Sam Murphy made the start for UNO, going a career-long 7.0 innings, allowing no runs on just two hits. Murphy struck out a career-high 11 of the 24 batters he faced and gave up two walks in his no-decision. LHP David Flattery took the loss for UNO after giving up 3 runs in just two innings of work. WIU’s Joe Mortillaro improved to 3-2 on the year with the win.

Both teams went scoreless through half the game until Omaha scratched across a run in the bottom of the fifth. Josh Scribner got a two-out rally going with a walk and Schultz followed with a single. Cole Gruber then hit an infield single to give Omaha the 1-0 lead. Gruber would finish 1-for-2 with two walks, a run scored, an RBI and three stolen bases.

Omaha surrendered their lead in the eighth inning when WIU struck for three runs. Omaha got one run back in their half of the inning, but WIU’s Nate Westfall hung on to pick up his fourth save of the year.

Game 3: L 10-2

Sophomore RHP Corey Binger started on the mound for UNO in the third and final game of the series. Western Illinois took the a 3-0 lead in the third inning and never looked back.

Sam Palensky hit an RBI single to drive in Omaha’s first run in the second. The Mavericks then got their second run in the third inning when Adam Caniglia scored on an error. Western Illinois struck for seven more runs over the last six innings for the 10-2 win.

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