FARGO, N.D. – In the elimination round of the Summit League Tournament, the No. 4 Omaha Mavericks pulled off an incredible late-game comeback to force extras vs. the No. 2 North Dakota State Bison, but in the end were unable to go all the way as they were defeated 7-6 in 12 innings.
Omaha’s season officially comes to an end as they finish 21-28.
The Mavericks again found themselves trailing early as the Bison came out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. For a moment, it seemed like Omaha had a good chance to start picking away at NDSU’s lead in the third as Mike Boeve and Haiden Hunt ripped back-to-back two-out singles. Devin Hurdle, who picked up the team’s first hit of the day, almost added another as he drilled one to left that stayed up just long enough for North Dakota State’s left fielder to run it down.
Meanwhile, Wyatt Sellers was brought in to pitch the third inning and managed to blank the Bison for the first time today. He kept them off the board again in the fourth, but did allow one run to come home on a wild pitch in the fifth. Sellers remained in to pitch the sixth inning as well, getting a quick groundout before walking the next two batters and allowing a third to reach on a bunt single. Despite loading the bases, NDSU was held to just one run on a sac fly as Sellers got out of the inning.
In the seventh, Omaha’s ace made an unexpected return as Caleb Riedel made his first appearance since April 6 vs. Oral Roberts. He might as well have pitched last week because Reidel was firing on all cylinders, striking out his first batter on three pitches, inducing a weak grounder which he tossed to first, and striking out one last batter to set down the Bison 1-2-3.
On to the bottom of the seventh, Omaha had its best opportunity yet to some serious damage to the Bison as they immediately loaded the bases with no outs, only to score just one run in the inning courtesy of Hurdle.
Another previously injured Mavericks pitcher also made a surprise reappearance in the eighth as Rans Sanders retired the side in order in his first outing in exactly one month. In the bottom of the inning, Omaha finally got the big hit it was looking for as Eduardo Rosario launched a three-run shot over the wall in left to cut North Dakota State’s lead to 6-5.
Still down by one in the bottom of the ninth, Cam Frederick came in clutch in the biggest moment of his Mavericks career as he laced one just over the head of the leaping second baseman to bring home Garrett Kennedy and send it to extra innings.
Making his tournament debut, Alex Potter took the mound in the top of the 10th and worked around a leadoff single and an error to keep it 6-6 as he stranded the runner at third with the biggest strikeout of his Mavericks career. After Omaha failed to score in the bottom of the 10th, Potter came back out for the 11th and again worked in and out of trouble to send it to the bottom of the 11th still tied.
Following a scoreless bottom of the 11th from the Mavericks, NDSU loaded the bases on a couple of bunt singles and got one run on a sac fly to go up 7-6 in the 12th and force the Mavericks into a do-or-die scenario. Though Rosario was able to reach base on a two-out walk, Omaha could not pull off another miracle as the game and their season ultimately came to end.
Inside the Box Score
This was only the second time in his career that Sellers completed four innings of relief in a single appearance, previously doing so back in February at Fresno State.
Rosario’s home run was his seventh of the season and brought his season RBI total up to 34. Both tie his career-high marks from last year.