Omaha returned home for their first weekend series at Tal Anderson Field of the 2023 season and took both games on a cold Friday afternoon against Stonehill. The Mavericks won game one 10-0 and followed up with a 13-3 victory over the Skyhawks in game two.
Caleb Riedel stole the show in game one despite the Maverick offensive performance. The junior left-handed pitcher was named to the NCBWA preseason All-America third team, and looked the part in his start against Stonehill. The Omaha native pitched six shutout innings and finished with 13 strikeouts, one walk, and only allowed one hit.
“His fastball was just a little different and it sneaks up on you,” said Omaha head coach Evan Porter on Caleb Riedel’s performance against Stonehill. “He did a really good job of throwing strikes and challenging guys. He did a great job today.”
The Mavericks offensive explosion came in the third inning, where Omaha scored eight of their 10 runs. The Skyhawks pitched themselves into a bases loaded jam after two different Stonehill pitchers walked three straight Omaha batters. With three runners on, Drew Lechnir stepped into the batter’s box and cleared the bases with a three run double.
From there Omaha cruised to victory over the Skyhawks in the first game. The Mavericks’ pitchers only allowed two total hits across seven innings and were not giving out free trips to first base with Omaha only walking one batter. The Omaha hitters tallied eight hits and five walks.
Omaha picked up where they left off in game two and scored six runs in the first inning. Cam Frederick started the party for the Mavericks when he hit a three-run blast over the left field wall, and that was not his only home run as the junior infielder hit another long ball later in the game in the fifth inning. Omaha followed the home run up with three more runs in the inning from a hit by pitch, an error and then a two-run double from Devin Hurdle.
“That first inning was a big cushion for us for the second game,” said Porter on his team’s six run first inning. “When you win big in the first game, it’s easy to come out flat but our guys did a good job of coming out with some fire and kept the offense going.”
The scoring barrage from the Mavericks did not stop in the first inning and they added four more in the second. Omaha hitters worked their way to first and drew three straight walks to start the innings. The walks paired with passed balls and two doubles in the second helped the Mavericks score four runs in the inning and match their run total from game one.
The Mavericks once again paired great offense with lights out pitching. Game two starter for Omaha, Preston Tenney followed Riedel’s performance with a stellar start of his own. The junior right-handed pitcher threw six innings, gave up four hits, walked one, struck out 12 and allowed no runs.
This was the first time Omaha had won both games of a double header since they did so against South Dakota State in 2021 at home.