Coming in at #8 on the Terrible 10 are the Mavericks from Nebraska Omaha. Although UNO’s campus is 4.9 miles from TD Ameritrade Park it might as well be 4,000. UNO seems to be a hell of a lot closer to division 2 baseball than the CWS. The 2017 season was forgettable for UNO to say the least. They finished the year going 12-40 and currently hold a 9-game losing skid to enter the 2018 campaign. Although they went 3-21 in their non-conference last year, the Mavs aren’t scared to take it from behind from the biggest baddest dudes in D1 baseball. Head Coach Even Porter can only hope his guys start out the season stronger than last year…2-18 in the first 20 games of 2017.
UNO baseball use to be somewhat of a juggernaut on the offensive side of things and would be bodybagged by routine fly balls. Nowadays they really aren’t good at anything. The Mavs struck out just under 400 times last year. Their grip & rip, toe to the sky, approach hasn’t really paid off as they only popped 16 dongers as a team last year. They do return Grant Suponchick (.287/2/22) but this haus is going to need a shitload of help if the Mavs want to score some runs.
The staff for UNO can best be described as a work in progress. The Mavs held a 6.96 team ERA last year and averaged just over 5 free passes a game. Hopefully these guys brought in some talented freshmen and juco guys or it’s gonna be a long season. Payton Kinney (3.88ERA) is going to have to eat up as many innings as possible. After that it will be a revolving door of mop up duty for the Mavs bullpen. I think the Mavs bullpen cashed it in pretty hard when they were banished from their own dugout last year. Would love to get an update when these guys start to play home games.
The only positive outlook for UNO is that they play in one of the worst conferences in D1 baseball, the Summit. They fortunately are going to get to play some awful teams (IPFW & Western Illinois) multiple times which could lead to some dubs. If the Mavs spend more time at Billy Frogg’s or the Hive this season their win total might top 12.
Although the Mavericks are on the Terrible 10 they’ve got one of the best mugshots not seen on the All-Mugshot team. Freshman Hunter Hughes gives the people a little bit of everything with this gem.
Projection: 15-35 – fighting for last place in the Oral Roberts League (Summit).