TULSA, Okla. – The top-seeded Omaha baseball program advanced to its first-ever Summit League title game in program history with a gritty, semifinal win over No. 3 Oral Roberts, 3-2.
With an Oral Roberts runner on third with two outs, Omaha was able to hold on and close the game on a 6-3 putout.
LEADERS FOR OMAHA
On the mound, Joey Machado tossed 7.0 innings and improved to 6-2 on the season. The sophomore had three strikeouts with just two runs allowed in the first inning. He also had four walks with six hits allowed, while his last 6.0 innings were shutout ball. Cal Hehnke notched his seventh save of the season, as he came in the final inning with just one hit allowed.
INSIDE THE INNINGS
Oral Roberts plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. An ORU single up the middle had the runner from third advance home, but DeBonville gunned a long throw to Brett Bonar, who tagged him out and preserved the score.
Later on in the top of the fourth, Omaha got on the board via a DeBonville triple that scored Ben Palensky. After Lombardi was walked, that put runners on first and third with just one out. The Golden Eagles, however, were able to turn at 6-4-3 double play and get out of the frame.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with one out, but the Mavericks were able to escape the frame with a pop up and a groundout, which kept the deficit at one.
Omaha was rewarded in the bottom of the seventh on a three-base error by ORU. A bunt by Keil Krumwiede advanced Eckhout. An errant throw by ORU was able to score Eckhout and put Krumwiede all the way to third with no outs. On the next at-bat, a Smejkal sacrifice fly plated Krumwiede for Omaha’s first lead of the game, 3-2.
Andrew Brighton came in relief and tossed a 1-2-3 inning for the Mavericks in the bottom of the eighth, before Hehnke closed the game in the ninth. Oral Roberts put a runner on first with a line-drive shot at Hehnke, and then advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt. A groundout to Krumwiede recorded the second out for Omaha, but advanced the ORU runner to third. With two outs and a runner on third, the winning out happened on the Golden Eagles’ second-consecutive groundout to Krumwiede on a 2-0 count.
- Omaha advances to its first-ever Summit League Championship title game in program history.
- The team is also 2-2 all-time now it Summit League postseason history.
- Omaha has now won 30 games for the first time since 2014, where that team finished 31-20 with a regular season crown.
- The Mavericks can clinch the tournament title with just one win in tomorrow’s final.
- Cal Hehnke is now the program’s Division I era all-time leader in saves for a single season with seven.
- Thomas DeBonville’s triple marked his sixth of 2019, which moves him tied for third-all time in program history for a single season. It also marks the most by any player for a single season in the Division I era.
Omaha plays in The Summit League Championship Final tomorrow at 11 a.m. in a rematch against Oral Roberts.