UNO starter Richie Holetz was very sharp Thursday night at the Summit League tournament, but North Dakota State starter Max Loven was a little better.
Loven allowed four baserunners through eight innings as the Bison knocked off the Mavericks 3-1 at Anderson Field.
UNO will face South Dakota State in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Friday. NDSU will play top-seeded Oral Roberts at 3 p.m.
Loven, a second-team all-conference lefty, was in control most of the night in a game played in a brisk 1 hour, 50 minutes. He retired 19 of the first 20 he faced before the Mavs started to hit pitches hard.
Mike Boeve singled in the seventh in front of Keil Krumwiede, who flew out to the fence in center. In the eighth, Chris Esposito singled to left-center but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Brett Bonar followed with a line drive home run down the right-field line.
Bonar’s shot made it 3-1, but the Bison turned to closer Parker Harm, who retired UNO in order in the ninth for his 10th save.
Holetz, meanwhile, got stronger as the night went on. He threw a four-hitter, retiring the last 15 he faced. Seventy of his 103 pitches were strikes.
But he walked two in the second inning and both came around to score on a Nick Emanuel single and a groundout. Emanuel also led off the fourth with a homer to right, which was NDSU’s last baserunner.
Boeve had two of UNO’s four hits on the night.
NDSU, which has a program-record 39 wins, has won four of the past five meetings with UNO this season — all have been decided by two runs or less.
Oral Roberts 7, South Dakota State 1
Matt Gaskins threw a four-hitter in leading top-seeded Oral Roberts to a 7-1 win over South Dakota State in the opening game of the Summit League baseball tournament Thursday afternoon at Tal Anderson Field.
Gaskins allowed only an unearned run in the fourth inning for ORU, which advances to Friday's 3 p.m. game against the winner of Thursday night's North Dakota State-UNO game.
Offensively, seven of Oral Roberts' nine hits went for extra bases. Anthony Martinez homered, while Ryan Cash and Alec Jones each drove in two.
South Dakota State will play the NDSU-UNO loser at 11 a.m. Friday.