Timmins leads Mavericks to first sweep of the season over BYU


Reggie Wortman

Junior Mark Timmins fires a pitch against the BYU Cougars. Timmins has been impressive at home this season, the latest effort being a 115-pitch complete-game win. Photo taken by Reggie Wortman.

After two exciting wins to open the series, the third and final contest of Omaha’s series against BYU was quite the anticipated matchup. For the first time in the 2021 season, the Mavericks completed the sweep with a 4-1 win over the Cougars.

Mark Timmins, who has been the newest addition to the starting rotation, got the nod and took full advantage. The junior tossed 115 pitches in the complete-game effort, which was the first by an Omaha pitcher since March 4, 2018.

The Cougars started the scoring in the second thanks to a leadoff double from Cole Gambill, who scored on a groundout a few plays later.

However, Omaha responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Parker Smejkal led off with a walk and came around on a Brett Bonar single to tie the game up at one.

The Maverick bats warmed up in the fifth inning as Smejkal brought Mike Boeve home on a sac-fly to give Omaha the lead. Chris Esposito reached on an error by BYU third baseman Austin Deming and Maverick shortstop Kiel Krumwiede got on with a walk. Both guys came around to score on designated hitter Eduardo Rosario’s two-RBI double, giving Omaha a 4-1 advantage.

As for the man on the mound, Timmins worked efficiently all afternoon. The only blemish was the one run in the second. Timmins only tallied four strikeouts, but that was all a part of the game plan going in.

“I wasn’t really trying to strike a lot of guys out,” he said. “Today was just a lot of contact pitching and letting my defense work.”

Timmins, a hometown kid, graduated from Omaha Central in 2017 before playing two seasons of junior college baseball at Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska. He transferred to Omaha last season and sat out with a medical redshirt.

In his first season pitching for the Mavericks, Timmins has settled into a starting role at the back of the rotation. In his three home starts this season, he has pitched 23 innings and has just a 1.96 ERA. He also racked up 10 strikeouts in a start against South Dakota State last month. It’s safe to say pitching at home has given him an edge.

“This place (Tal Anderson Field) is awesome, the fans are awesome, it’s just a feeling of comfort,” he said.

Head coach Evan Porter had high praises for the junior as well.

“He is such a great kid,” Porter said. “As a Central grad it’s always fun seeing guys like him come home and do what he did on Saturday. He deserves all the good things that come to him.”

Porter was adamant about grabbing wins against a marquee opponent like BYU. Especially in preparation for this coming weekend with a series against the first-place team in the Summit League, Oral Roberts.

“It’s a good confidence booster going into next week,” he said. “It’s time to focus on our trip to Tulsa next weekend. It’s great to come out on top three out of three times. We will take it.”