Maverick Maniac's Musings

March 1, 2013

2013 Omaha Baseball – Game #1 Preview – UTSA

Filed under: Baseball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 10:00 am

Friday, March 1st, 2013 – 6 PM
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, Texas)
Live Stats
Live Audio – UTSA Feed – Free?

Omaha will get their season off to a start on Friday. It’s a lot later than some schools have started but for the Mavericks it is just right and will start a season where they’ll play 56 games by March 18th. The longest stretch of days off is a couple of 4 day of stretches from April 22nd through the 25th and from April 29th through May 2nd. And that’s assuming that nothing from earlier in the year gets rained out and games get scheduled during that time. There’s been talk of UNO and Nebraska getting together if the schools have rainouts early in the year and Nebraska only has Kansas State on the 23rd of April scheduled for those two breaks right now…. so that may be when that happens. Either way, I’m not real concerned about the Mavericks waiting until March 1st to start when the season will be relentless after this.

Omaha was picked to finish sixth (out of six) in the Summit League this year, though just a single vote behind Fort Wayne. Although I made it to a few baseball games last year I would not remotely contend that I can provide you any sort of good preview of this year’s team. Instead I can just say that Omaha brings back four starters. Outfielder Alex Mortenson is back for his sophomore year after starting 43 games and hitting .292 with 19 runs, 4 home runs, and 26 RBIs. Junior infielder Caleb Palensky started all 48 games and hit .250 last year with 24 runs and 17 RBIs. Senior infielder Tyler Splichal hit .302 last year with four runs and four RBIs before getting hurt after 14 games while senior outfielder Connor McCrite hit .193 with five runs and five RBIs in 30 starts.

The Mavericks return a slew of pitchers this year. Senior Matt Tew started the most posting a 1-6 record in 13 starts with a 5.60 ERA. Sophomore Zach Williamson started four games and appeared in eight others while posting a 4.65 ERA and a 2-2 record. Senior Derek Landis started four games, appeared in nine others, and went 1-3 with a 5.02 ERA while senior lefty Cory Buckley went 1-2 in three starts with a 5.62 ERA. Omaha’s best lefty by ERA last year was Cole Volkers who started three games, appeared in seven others, and went 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Finally junior Josh Bullock is back after going 0-4 with a 6.12 ERA in 15 appearances and five starts.

Are any of those guys going to start? Well yes of course and Mortensen, Palensky, and Splichal seem to be locks to start to me. Omaha does have 13 freshman on the roster and two other sophomores we haven’t talked about so there will be plenty of competition from new players and other veterans. Omaha’s got a 35-man roster right now so there will be a lot of players angling for some time.

As the season goes on we’ll get a better feel for how competitive Omaha will be. They had some good moments last year and with softball off to such a great start I know that I may be expecting more out of them than is realistic, but let’s hope they can live up to it. Excitingly the first home game is just a week away, a 1 PM game against North Dakota at Westside on Friday the 8th.

Matchup

Omaha Category UTSA
N/A Record 6-3
N/A Batting Average .356
N/A HRs 5
N/A Slugging % .495
N/A On Base % .431
N/A Stolen Bases 12
N/A Runs/Game 8.78
N/A ERA 3.69
N/A Runs Allowed/Game 5.44
N/A Shutouts 0
N/A Strikeouts/Game 6.89
N/A Opp. Batting Average .302
N/A Fielding % .953

Team Info
The Roadrunners are starting their first season in the WAC after playing in the Southland last year. UTSA was 22-32 last year, 11-21 in the Southland and was picked to finish 8th in this year’s WAC. The Roadrunners are led by Daniel Rockett, an honorable mention All-Southland selection last year, who is hitting .514 with 12 RBIs already. RJ Perucki, third-team All-Southland last year, already has 17 RBIs and is hitting .425. The top pitcher for the Roadrunners is Nolan Trabanino who is 3-0 this year with a 1.29 ERA. Michael Kraft has started the first games of the two weekend series so far but is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA and has only pitched seven innings so far.

Previous Meetings
This is the first meeting between the two schools.

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