ROCHESTER, Mich. — It took a rally in the eighth inning Saturday and 43 games into its second season of Division I baseball, but the University of Nebraska at Omaha can claim a program first.
With the Mavericks’ 7-2 win at Oakland, the Summit League leaders moved above .500 (22-21) for the first time since making the move to D-I. UNO also improved to 15-5 in the Summit.
The Mavs were trailing 2-1, but Zach Williamsen, a sophomore from Millard West, kept his team in it. He allowed two earned runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Williamsen (3-1) left after going 7 1⁄3 innings, and after his teammates had rallied in the top of the eighth to get him a shot at the win.
Sophomore Alex Mortensen opened the eighth inning with a single to left, and Cory Buckley reached on a fielding error to put runners on the corners. Ryan Keele singled up the middle to score Mortensen, making it 2-2.
As Clayton Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice, Keele and Buckley advanced on a muffed throw to load the bases. A sacrifice fly to right from Tyler Splichal allowed Buckley to score the go-ahead run for a 3-2 UNO lead.
Then Alex Schultz hit a two-run double, and after an infield single by Caleb Palensky, Cole Gruber singled in Schultz to make it 6-2.
The Mavs added an insurance run in the ninth on Keele’s solo homer to lead off the inning, his second of the weekend and conference-best fifth of the year.
Palensky, a junior out of Papillion-La Vista South, finished with three hits while Keele and Schultz drove in two runs apiece.
Next up, UNO begins a six-game homestand at the Ballpark at Boys Town to end the year. The Mavs will host Western Illinois in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday, then open a four-game series against South Dakota State on Thursday.
Next up, UNO begins a six-game homestand to end the year. The Mavs will host Western Illinois in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday, then open a four-game series against South Dakota State on Thursday.