UNO was in position to answer the two runs South Dakota State had just scored in the top of the second.
The Mavericks loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning when Grant Goldston lined a pitch headed for left field. But shortstop Luke Ira made a leaping catch of the line drive, ending the threat.
It was that kind of Summit League tournament for UNO, which ended the season and tourney Friday with a 7-0 loss at Anderson Field.
“It won’t show on the scoreboard or in the box score, but we hit a lot of balls pretty hard,” coach Evan Porter said. “We didn’t get the one to fall that we needed to.”
The Mavs had baserunners in each of the first five innings, but that second inning was their best chance to swing momentum. That never happened, and the Jackrabbits pulled away.
UNO, winner of the 2019 Summit tournament for the first time, finished the season 22-25.
Before the tournament, the Mavs scored at least seven runs in nine of 13 games this month. But the offense never got on a roll. On Thursday, it managed four baserunnners in a 3-1 loss to North Dakota State.
“They worked hard enough to win, it didn’t go our way the past couple of days,” Porter said.
On Friday, it was SDSU that came up with the timely hits. A two-out RBI single in the fourth made it 3-0, then Ryan McDonald lined a two-out, two-run single to center in the sixth for a 6-0 lead.
Landon Badger had two hits and scored three times to lead the JAckrabbits. Joey Machado worked into the fifth inning and took the loss.
UNO started four seniors Friday, and Porter applauded the class for what they’ve done for the program.
“The seniors have just been wonderful for us all year,” the coach said. “Their leadership kind of carried us through some tough times. We had ups and downs this year, but there was never a doubt that we’d come out here and compete.
“I know it sounds cliché, but the seniors did leave the program better than how they found it.”