WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: Vol. 8 (April 4) AROUND THE SUMMIT LEAGUE...
• Omaha continued its blistering start to league play by picking up its third sweep in as many tries. The Mavericks are averaging over nine runs per game in those contests and lead the league with a .354 batting clip. A year ago, UNO finished fifth in the league standings with a 10-17 record.
• UNO's hurlers are also aiding the cause, posting a league-best 2.41 ERA with a league-high 105 strikeouts so far. Righthander Payton Kinney has yielded just three earned runs in 46 innings of work (0.59 ERA) and has fanned 50 en route to a 5-0 record. Kinney is 2-0 in league play with a 0.39 ERA.
• The Mavericks' Parker Smejkal is one of seven #SummitBSB batters hitting .400 or better in league play. He leads that group with a .524 clip (11-for-21). His teammate, Breyden Eckhout, joined that club with a 9-for-12 effort against Western Illinois and earned the first Player of the Week accolade of his career for those efforts.
• South Dakota State also won its third series to open league play by sweeping Purdue Fort Wayne last weekend.
• Freshman Nic McCay tossed the first shutout of the season by a league hurler in an 8-0 victory in the series finale to earn Pitcher of the Week honors. McCay logged his second double-digit strikeout performance as well, fanning 11 Mastodons en route to his fourth win (4-1).
• SDSU shortstop Gus Steiger leads the league in hits (36) and stolen bases (9) while ranking second in RBI (22).
• The top two teams in the league standings -- Omaha and SDSU -- will square off in a three-game set in Sioux Falls, S.D., this weekend. Poor field conditions in Brookings forced the series to be moved up Interstate 29.
• ORU took the rubber match of its home series with NDSU, winning Sunday's tilt 6-3 to improve to 6-3 in league play. First baseman Spencer Henson returned for the contest after missing the previous four games. He continues to lead the league in RBI (24) and ranks second in batting average (.338) and home runs (5) despite the missed time.
• Henson actually came up big on the mound during mid-week play as the Golden Eagles beat in-state rival Oklahoma Tuesday 4-2 in 11 innings. Henson struck out the side in the final frame to pick up his second save of the season. It was ORU's first win in Norman since 2015.
• Western Illinois' C.J. Schaeffer, Jr., was among 79 catchers nominated by their head coaches for the Buster Posey Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher. Schaeffer led the league with 19 runners caught stealing a year ago and already has a league-leading 12 in 2019.
• Purdue Fort Wayne snapped its 21-game losing skid with an 11-9 win over Goshen Wednesday.
Friday, April 5