The World-Herald's Tony Boone compiled everything you need to know for UNO baseball's series against North Dakota State.
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6:30 p.m. Friday: RH Payton Kinney (8-1, 1.46) vs. RH Zach Smith (1-4, 5.50)
1 p.m. Saturday: TBD vs. LH Max Loven (2-2, 2.60)
1 p.m. Sunday: LH Spencer Koelewyn (4-1, 3.88) vs. RH Ben Smith (3-2, 3.26)
Scouting UNO: The Mavericks (25-14-1, 17-4), who have dropped three straight for the first time all season, look to get back on track this weekend in Fargo when they meet the Bison. UNO carries a four-game lead in the Summit League standings into the series and can clinch its spot in the conference tournament with a strong showing. The Mavs will be without Friday starter Joey Machado (undisclosed injury) for the time being, so Payton Kinney, who suffered his first defeat last week, is set to pitch the series opener. Spencer Koelewyn, who leads the nation in fewest hits allowed per nine innings, will remain in his Sunday spot, and the UNO coaching staff will determine its Saturday starter in Fargo. This is the start of long road trip for the Mavs, who won’t return to Omaha until after next weekend’s series at Western Illinois. UNO also can move closer to capturing the Summit regular-season title this week. Its magic number is at six.
Scouting North Dakota State: The Bison (13-20, 10-11) enter the weekend in a tie with Western Illinois for the fourth and final spot in the league tournament with nine games left. NDSU won the final two games of a series between the teams in Fargo last weekend and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Leathernecks if the teams finish in a tie. The Bison were swept in a three-game set in Omaha earlier this season, losing in 13 innings in the opener before dropping a pair of three-run games. UNO is the only Summit team that North Dakota State hasn’t beaten this season. The Bison were the last NCAA Division I team to play a home game this year. Their first game in Fargo wasn’t until April 19. They were, however, the home team in a series with rival South Dakota State that was played in Omaha while UNO was out of town. NDSU’s Saturday starter, Max Loven, a freshman, is one of the top control pitchers in the nation.
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