MACOMB, Ill. — A seventh-inning rally propelled the Omaha baseball team past Western Illinois 8-5 Friday afternoon at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium. The Mavericks are now 12-18 (8-4 Summit League) on the season, while the Leathernecks drop to 7-20 (5-6).
Joey Machado (4-3) earned the win, tossing 6.0 innings with five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks with a strikeout. WIU reliever Sam Cottingham-Beard (0-1) took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on a hit and three walks over 3.2 innings. Cal Hehnke recorded his third save of the year with 3.0 shutout innings, holding the Leathernecks to one hit and two walks with two strikeouts.
Omaha and WIU traded runs over the first inning and a half. In the top of the first, the Mavericks put runners on the corners after singles by DeBonville and Thibodeau, and DeBonville scored on a groundout for a 1-0 lead.
After the Leathernecks tied it at one apiece in the bottom half of the frame, the Mavericks regained the lead in the second. Keil Krumwiede and Adam Caniglia were hit by pitches to start the inning, and Krumwiede advanced to third on an error. He scored on Tyler Daugherty‘s sacrifice fly to right for a 2-1 edge. DeBonville then singled, and he and Caniglia both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Thibodeau roped a double to center to drive in both runners for a 4-1 score.
The lead extended to 5-1 in the third when Hunter Hughes, who led off the inning with a full-count walk, came in on a bases-loaded free pass drawn by DeBonville.
But WIU plated runs in three straight innings, with one in the fourth, two in the fifth and another in the sixth to lock the game a 5-5.
Omaha wasted no time in breaking the tie, however, crossing three runs on a hit and an error in the top of the seventh. Thibodeau was hit by a pitch and Grant Suponchick singled through the left side to put two on for Braden Rogers, who advanced both with a sacrifice bunt. Hughes was then intentionally walked to load the bases, and Caniglia worked a 3-1 walk to bring in Thibodeau for the go-ahead run. A wild pitch allowed Suponchick to come in, and following a pitching change, Max Gamm reached on an error, which allowed Hughes to score for the 8-5 advantage.
Hehnke kept WIU off balance until the bottom of the ninth when the Leathernecks managed a single, but consecutive flyouts ended the game.
Omaha and Western Illinois resume their series on Saturday, April 14, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. in Macomb, Ill.