Although it’s only August and school is just getting started, planning and preparation for spring sports are already underway. Two weeks ago, the Omaha softball program announced the hiring of head coach Mike Heard. Now, the baseball program has announced the addition of 17 newcomers to the Mavericks’ baseball program.
“We are excited to add this class to our baseball family,” said head coach Evan Porter in a press release. “Not only is this group talented, but they are all high-character people. Our program’s recent success and the addition of our on-campus ballpark Tal Anderson Field helped us recruit these fine young men. We look forward to having this group join us as fall workouts begin next month.”
Porter’s group finished the 2021 spring season with a 22-25 record and lost both games in the Summit League Tournament. They’ll look to rebound next spring, but in doing so, they’ll have to fill the void of multiple key pieces from last year’s group. The hope is that some new faces will step up, some of which coming from this group of 17.
The incoming class represents 10 states, highlighted by seven from the state of Nebraska. However, none of the 17 come directly from the high school ranks. Whether it be at a junior college or another Division I program, all have previous experience at the collegiate level.
Outfielder Will Hanafan and infielder Cam Frederick are two of the four players who join the Mavericks from another Division I program, as both transferred from Creighton. Hanafan, who hails from just across the river in Council Bluffs, joins the Mavericks after three seasons with the Bluejays. He made 67 starts and played 87 total games at Creighton, with a .264 average at the plate.
As for Frederick, the Lincoln native joins the Mavericks after just one season at Creighton. He appeared in 14 games and made three starts as a freshman, but he’s not far removed from being a hot commodity here locally. Frederick was the top-ranked shortstop in the state, according to Prep Baseball Report, and Perfect Game dubbed him as the third-best high school player in the state of Nebraska.
One of the most experienced players of the entire class comes out of the Big Ten in Drew Hmielewski from Minnesota. A six-foot-two right-handed pitcher and outfielder, Hmielewski played four seasons with the Gophers and appeared in 83 games over that time.
Hmielewski has hit .235 and had 18 RBI so far in his collegiate career, while also striking out 11 batters over 10.2 innings of work on the mound.
The final of those four transfers is Noah Greise, who joins the Mavericks after redshirting one season at Wichita State. An infielder and catcher, Greise put together an impressive high school career at Millard South before joining the Shockers.
A first-team all-state selection as a junior, Greise hit .408 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI. He led the Patriots to back-to-back state tournaments, but ultimately finished as the runner-up both years.
The class as a whole includes nine players with experience on the mound and four who play multiple positions. It also features a pair of brothers in Elkhorn’s Drew and Will Reetz, who join the program from Hutchinson CC. Incoming left-handed pitcher and outfielder Cooper Prososki is also the younger brother of Masen Prososki, who was a senior infielder for the Mavericks last season.