Senior Ryan Keele hit a walk-off home run to give UNO a 6-4 win over South Dakota State in game one of a doubleheader and its first outright Summit League championship Friday afternoon at the Ballpark at Boys Town. The Jackrabbits took the second game 12-5.
The Mavericks won the regular-season title in just their first year as a member of the league and the crown marks the first conference championship for any Maverick team in Division I play.
Tied 4-4 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, Cory Buckley came through with a one-out single. Keele then stepped to the plate and blasted a towering shot over the left field. It was Keele's sixth of the year and he now leads the Summit League.
Senior Matt Tew was a force on the mound in the final appearance of his career, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts. The win went to freshman reliever Sam Murphy (1-0), who threw the final inning and held the Jackrabbits to one hit. SDSU starter Stephen Bougher (7-2) took the loss, surrendering six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
SDSU's Adam Bray (7-2) earned the win in game two, tossing six innings and allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts. Omaha starter Steven Schoonover was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs on five hits.
With the split, UNO is now 26-22 (19-6 Summit League) while South Dakota State is 31-20 (16-9 Summit League). Despite winning the regular-season title, UNO is not eligible for the Summit League Tournament due to Division I reclassification rules and will conclude its season with Saturday's series finale.