The UNO men’s baseball team took on the North Dakota State Bison in a double header on Thursday. The Bison were able to secure two nail biting victories over the Mavericks on Thursday with the final game of the series Friday. Joey Machado was the starting pitcher for UNO and pitched an impressive eight innings while only giving up two hits and one lone run. Freshman Max Gamm scored the lone run in the second inning by hitting a single that scored Ben Palensky. The Mavericks finished with more hits than the Bison but had trouble scoring their base runners. The Bison were able to come back against the Mavericks in the first game and forced the contest into extra innings. North Dakota State than scored in the 10th inning to secure the first win of the day by a score of 2-1.
The second game was much like the first with stingy pitching from both teams. Spencer Koelewyn got the start behind the mound for the Mavericks and Andrew Brighton was the closer. Koelewyn pitched the first six innings, walking three batters and giving up a respectable five hits to the Bison. The Mavericks offense just wasn’t enough for North Dakota State pitcher Blake Stockert, who pitched the entire second game and only gave up three hits in the contest to the Mavericks.
Head Coach Evan Porter was disappointed in the losses but is hopeful that his team will bounce back after a tough pair of games. “Our guys did a really good job, and so did theirs. They did just enough to win and we just didn’t have enough grit to get it done today.”
Porter says the team needs to step up from here on out for the remainder of the season. “We’re giving in a little too easy right now which is disappointing. It’s time to get it down. I think we just need more grit in these moments where we have opportunities to work on at bat or get guys on base.”
Although Porter wants to see more from his players, there were some great moments from Thursday. Senior catcher Adam Caniglia threw out three Bison base runners attempting to steal second base. Each time Caniglia made a play the rest of the team rallied around him. During Caniglia’s first at bat on Thursday, one of his fellow teammates shouted in an extremely stern voice, “Just hit the ball, Adam!” After the laughter died down in the bleachers, Caniglia took the advice and got the base hit his teammates were craving.
After the two losses on Thursday, the Mavericks still hold a one game lead over the Bison in the Summit League standings. This makes Friday’s contest even more important. After the two losses, Oral Roberts is now in first place in the Summit League. This shouldn’t discourage the Mavericks, it should hopefully make the team realize the importance of every remaining game in the season.