The UNO Men’s Baseball team is ready to bounce back from taking 2-out-of-3 from Oral Roberts last weekend. The Mavericks are set to take on South Dakota State University in a three-game series this weekend at home at Seymour Park. The Friday through Sunday series are pivotal Summit League conference games. Although the Mavericks are 9-14 on the season, they are at the top of the Summit League with a record of 5-1.
SDSU is currently sputtering at a record of 3-17 on the season. In the Summit League standings, the Jackrabbits are 1-4. This weekend’s three-game series could be a great opportunity for the Mavs to pad their lead in the Summit League. If UNO can secure three wins over the weekend, they will be sitting pretty at a cool 8-1 record in the Summit League.
The Mavs need to take advantage of this home series and try to win all three games, but every team knows it’s never that easy. The Mavs are going to need to keep improving their hitting if they want to win the series this weekend. After scoring eight runs during their defeat against Oral Roberts on Sunday, the Mavericks were shut out against the wildcats of Kansas State Tuesday night. For UNO, there’s no reason to panic after a close loss to a solid Big 12 Conference opponent. In a typical baseball game, a player will get 3-5 offensive opportunities, and hitting a small ball traveling over 80 miles per hour is easier said than done.
UNO has many players ready to make offensive impact in every opportunity. Infielder Braden Roberts currently leads the team with a batting average of 3.21. This stat places Roberts as the number five ranked player in the Summit League based on batting average. All sports, but baseball in particular, is a game of momentum. When the momentum is on your side, the team is a fine-tuned machine. When the momentum shifts to the opponents it can become exponentially harder to make a play and swing it back into your team’s favor. The Mavs are great at keeping the momentum when it’s in their favor, but they seem to struggle at times when it shifts to the opponents.
This team just needs to keep a cool head when the momentum is in their favor. When the team has the momentum, they need to focus on keeping it, and also be able take some deep breaths and focus when it’s gone. Some teams respond negatively to not having the momentum. Some teams hear the opposing teams banter in the dugout and get worked up and overcompensate to try to make up for it. Elite teams gather their composure and focus their energy on making a play. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing an opposing team’s dugout being overtly cocky and then having a player quickly shut them up by making a great play. Be there to cheer loud when it happens this weekend.