FARGO, N.D.– The Omaha baseball team fell 9-1 in the first of a three-game league series at North Dakota State Friday night (April 27).
Tyler Phillips and Joey Machado led the way on the mound, striking out four batters apiece through 2.0 and 4.0 innings pitched, respectively. Cole Thibodeau led the way in the box, going 2-for-4 with an RBI-single to plate the lone run in the bottom of the ninth for the Mavericks (13-24, 8-8 Summit League).
Neither North Dakota State (16-18, 8-9 Summit League) nor Omaha saw any runs through the first two innings. In the top of the third, the Mavericks put two runners in scoring position after Ben Palensky reached third and Thibodeau stole second, but both were left stranded to close out the half inning.
The Bison jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third off a triple and a double to right center off consecutive at-bats. After loading the bases in the bottom of the fourth, North Dakota State was able to tack on four more runs in the inning to increase the Maverick deficit at 6-0.
UNO could not get anything going in the ensuing inning, and the Bison continued to gain momentum and plate three more runs in the bottom of the fifth off a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0.
Omaha placed Max Gamm and Hunter Hughes in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh after the pair were walked, and Gamm eventually advanced to third after Thibodeau grounded out to first. The Bison, however, did not waiver and closed out the inning to keep the Mavericks scoreless.
Grant Suponchick helped Omaha gain some momentum after singling through the left side in the eighth. Tyler Daugherty pinch ran for Suponchick and advanced to second off a fielder’s choice, but was left stranded heading into the ninth.
From there, the Bison were able to close out the game allowing only one run and four Maverick hits. North Dakota State totaled 12 hits and one error throughout the nine innings.
The Mavericks continue the road slate tomorrow (April 28) for a 1 p.m. first pitch against North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D.