FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A standout pitching performance by freshman starter Evan Miller and reliever Jake Weber, along with a five-run third inning, propelled the IPFW baseball squad to a 5-2 win over Omaha, and giving the Mastodons a series win against the Mavericks.
Miller went the first six innings of the game, striking out nine and scattering two hits and walking three, improving to 3-2 on the season. Weber closed out the game, pitching the last three innings, striking out six and allowing four hits and an earned run, picking up his school-record-tying sixth save of the season.
Shane Trevino was 2-for-4 at the plate for the Mastodons, with four others picking up one hit in the game. Trevino and Evan VanSumeren each drove in a pair, as each of the team’s five runs came from different players.
The win improves IPFW to 16-15 on the season, and 6-9 in Summit League play, standing fourth in the Summit League at the halfway point of the league season.
The teams rationed their hits through the first four innings, as each of the game’s first four hits drove in runs in the contest.
Omaha struck first in the top of the third inning when Alex Schultz advanced to first on a strikeout the ended up at the backstop. Following an error that put runners on first and second, Clayton Taylor singled to center field, scoring Alex Schultz and putting the visitors ahead 1-0.
The Mastodons immediately responded in the bottom of the third when Shannon Baker opened with a walk, Zak Kellogg was hit by a pitch, and Jackson Boyce walked to load the bases with no outs in the frame. After a strikeout, VanSumeren singled to left field, scoring Baker and Kellogg. After a second strikeout during the inning, Trevino doubled home Boyce and VanSumeren, and put IPFW ahead 4-0. After Brock Logan walked, the Mavericks made a pitching change; however,Greg Kaiser followed with a single to left field to score Trevino and put the Mastodons ahead 5-0.
Miller found himself in some trouble in the top of the sixth inning when the Mavericks opened the inning with a single and a walk to the first and second batters in the Omaha lineup; however, a sacrifice bunt attempt was popped up directly to Miller, who snagged the ball and turned and fired to a waiting Kaiser at second base to double off Schultz, with a next-pitch flyout ending the threat for the Mavericks.
Omaha opened the eighth inning with a double and a single, putting runners on the corners before Cole Gruber hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Isaac Holt, and cutting the deficit to three at 5-2. Following a flyout for the next batter, the Mavericks singled to put runners on the corners; however, Weber struck out Alex Mortensen to end the threat in the game.
In the top of the ninth, Weber got back-to-back strikeouts, before inducing a groundout to third base to close the door on the game.
Schultz was 2-for-4 for the Mavericks, as Tyler Hamer picked up the loss, falling to 1-2 on the year, as he struck out five over two and a third inning, giving up five earned runs and scattering two hits.,
The Mastodons host St. Francis (Ind.) in a newly-scheduled mid-week game on Tuesday, April 14, before traveling to Purdue a day later.