For the first time ever, the Omaha Mavericks baseball team is competing in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Thanks to winning the Summit League conference tournament, Omaha earned a spot in the 64-team field. The NCAA tournament will kick off on Friday, May 31.
The tournament is split up into 16 four-team pods. The winners of those pods then advance to play each other, with the winners of those games finally ending up in Omaha for the College World Series.
Omaha is the fourth seed in the Los Angeles region, along with top overall seed UCLA, two-seed Baylor, and third-seeded Loyola Marymount.
Not only did the Mavericks make history by making the Tournament, all three baseball-playing schools in the state made the field. Creighton is a two seed in Oregon State’s regional, and Nebraska is a three-seed in Oklahoma State’s regional.
Senior Payton Kinney will get the start in Friday’s opening game. Kinney has a 1.65 ERA in 16 starts. In 109 innings, he has given up just 68 hits, walked only 38 and struck out 103. Opponents hit .181 against Kinney.
The Bruins will counter with Ryan Garcia. Garcia has a 1.42 ERA. In 76 innings, Garcia has struck out 101 batters, given up just 41 hits, and walked only 24. Opponents hit only .158 against Garcia. Expect a low scoring battle on Friday.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN3.