With the wind playing a huge factor, the Emporia State baseball team finished a four game series against the Mavs of Nebraska-Omaha Sunday, defeating UNO 10-5. After falling behind 0-2 in the series, the Hornets rebounded winning the final two games.
“I think it’s a huge win for us this year,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “Because it’s the first time we’ve lost two in a row. To come out today and compete and give ourselves a chance to win is huge for the rest of the year.”
Neither team wasted time getting on the board as the Mavs opened up with one run in the first inning followed by two Hornet runs off an unearned run by Kevin Wempe and a run by Andy Cotton off of an RBI from Joe Vaskas.
The Mavs responded again in the second inning on a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at two runs apiece before Vaskas struck again with the first homerun of the game giving ESU a 3-2 lead.
“He threw me a breaking ball, and I put a good swing on it,” Vaskas said. “I knew the wind was carrying out well, so anything in the air had a chance to get out for anybody on the team.”
The Hornets added two more runs off a UNO error on what should have been a routine fly ball opportunity. ESU took the three run lead into the fourth and extended their lead to six runs after Dillon Hazlett’s homerun to right field brought Wempe home.
“When I hit it, right off the bat I was like, ‘that’s probably foul,’ and then I looked up and it was blowing back fair and it stayed straight… the wind helped me out on that one a little bit,” Hazlett said.
ESU added two more runs to the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Though the Mavs would respond with three runs in the top of the eighth, the Hornets held them off for the 10-5 victory.
For the series, the Hornets went 2-2 with the Mavs after dropping the first two games. ESU dropped the series opener on Friday 2-8 before splitting Saturday’s double-header. The Hornets lost the first game 2-5 but rebounded with an 8-6 victory in the second.
ESU is now 22-3 on the season and ranked first in the MIAA. They return to Glennen Field this weekend for another four game series against Missouri Southern. First pitch in the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. tomorrow.