One inning was all it took for the Omaha baseball team on Monday morning, as the Mavericks scored all seven of their runs in the fifth inning to capture a 7-6 win over Iowa at Eck Stadium. With the victory, the Mavericks improve to 4-8 (0-0 Summit League) on the season, while the Hawkeyes drop to 8-8 (0-0 Big Ten).
The win went to junior reliever Dylan Casey (1-0), who allowed just one hit over 2.0 innings, striking out three and walking two. Nick Hibbing (0-1) took the loss, giving up seven runs (three earned) on three hits in one inning of relief with three walks. Junior Josh Bullock earned his second save of the season – and his second of the weekend – by fanning two while allowing no hits and no walks over 1.1 innings.
Freshman Cole Gruber went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in, while sophomore Alex Mortensen was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Junior Brett Bass also had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-4 and scoring once.
Kris Goodman finished 3-for-3 and scored twice to lead the Hawkeyes. Taylor Kaufman, Jake Mangler and Taylor Zeutenhorst each tallied two hits on the day, and Zeutenhorst and Kaufman both scored two runs.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Goodman led off with a single through the left side and later scored on Mangler’s RBI single to right. Zeutenhorst then tripled to left, plating Mangler and Kaufman to spot the Hawkeyes a three-run advantage.
Iowa added another run in the fourth, as Eric Toole singled up the middle, advanced to third on a Goodman single and scored when Jake Yacinich reached on a fielder’s choice to push it to 4-0.
An explosive fifth inning was all the Mavericks needed, as they used four runs and an Iowa errors to score seven runs, including six with two outs. Gruber and Bass sparked the inning with back-to-back singles to right, and senior Tyler Splichal’s sacrifice bunt spurred Gruber to score UNO’s first run of the day. Bass then stole third, and sophomore Alex Mortensen sent an RBI double down the left field line to score Bass at 4-2. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, freshman Alex Schultz drew a walk that brought Mortensen across and pulled the Mavericks within one.
Following senior Ryan Keele’s walk and redshirt freshman Connor Messinger’s hit-by-pitch, senior Connor McCrite then reached base on an Iowa throwing error, allowing Messinger and Keele to tack on two more runs that gave Omaha the lead at 5-4. After a pitching change, Gruber dropped a two-run double in right center that plated Schultz and McCrite, extending the Mavericks’ lead to 7-4.
Iowa rallied for two runs in the sixth when Kaufman’s double down the line scored Yacinich and Goodman, but Omaha held the Hawkeyes scoreless for the last three innings to seal the 7-4 win and take two of three against Iowa for the weekend.