FARGO, N.D. – Omaha baseball lost a heartbreaking, 13-inning series finale to the North Dakota State Bison Sunday afternoon.
For the second week in a row, Omaha (26-16-1, 18-6) drops a 13-inning rubber match. North Dakota State (15-21, 13-11) walked it off with a single to right field. Omaha is now 0-3-1 in rubber matches and falls to 2-3-1 in extra-inning games.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Parker Smejkal recorded the lone RBI for the team with his hit. Thomas DeBonville had a team-high two hits in the game. On the mound, Spencer Koelewyn went 6.0 innings with five strikeouts on four hits and one run allowed. Grant Suponchick pitched 5.0 relief innings with four strikeouts on two hits allowed. Cal Hehnke was credited with the loss (3-2) as he tossed the final inning. NDSU’s Parker Harm improved to 4-4 on the year as he tossed the final 3.0 innings in relief.
INSIDE THE INNINGS
The Bison got on the board in the bottom of the first on a groundout RBI. Omaha later tied it up in the third after Matt Bondarchuk was walked. Smejkal came up two batters later and cracked a single-RBI to left and evened it at 1-all.
Omaha saw numerous chances to plate a run in the extra innings, but nothing seemed to go in favor of the Mavericks today. In the 10th, Omaha left two runners on base after the Bison were able to get out of the jam. An inning later, Omaha gambled as Breyden Eckhout rounded second and tried to extend himself to third after the NDSU outfielder lost the ball in the sun, but he was thrown out sliding into the base. The next opportunity came in the 12th with runners on second and third, but once again, NDSU was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout for the final two outs.
The Bison put two runners on in the bottom of the 12th, but Omaha’s defense also refused to let anything through and left them stranded. The final Maverick opportunity happened in the top of the 13th inning. For the second time in the series, Omaha saw a home run robbed due to the strong wind. Jack Lombardi launched a shot to left field that almost soared over the fence, but the ball halted in the air and dropped at the warning track.
Later on in the bottom of the 13th, NDSU singled to put a runner on base with no outs. In the next at-bat, Omaha looked to get a groundout, but the runner reached first on what was ruled a throwing error by the Mavericks. NDSU’s Noel then came up to the plate and scored the walk-off run with a single to left field.
Omaha stays on the road with a mid-week game at Minnesota this Wednesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. The team then follows up with a three-game road slate at Western Illinois May 10-12.