The bottom line for UNO in its recent rough stretch — whether it was a 20-1 loss Sunday at UNLV or a 1-0 loss Wednesday at Minnesota — is that it's been difficult for the Mavericks to score runs.
And now UNO, which is getting set for a three-game series this weekend at future Summit League foe Oakland, will be playing without perhaps its best offensive player in catcher Colby McCord.
Coach Bob Herold said the senior from Papillion-La Vista will miss the series with an unspecified illness. That will force yet another pitcher to play a position and take a spot in the batting order for the injury-plagued team making the transition to Division I.
"We're running four and five pitchers in there every game, and we're really not getting blown out that much," Herold said. "This is the thinnest we've ever been."
UNO (11-27) is 2-11 since posting back-to-back wins over Creighton and Iowa on March 27 and 28. The Mavs have scored two runs or less in six of those games while getting shut out three times.
Oakland is just 11-25, but leads the Summit at 5-3 and has won eight of its last 12 games. Included in that stretch is a split of a four-game series with league power Oral Roberts and a 3-1 series win over an Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne team that recently swept UNO.
McCord leads UNO with a .365 average, a .434 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage and 16 doubles. He shares the team lead with three homers and is third with 19 RBIs.
Among players who have appeared in at least 15 games, Brady Hohl is second with a .292 average.
"We've played good enough defense to stay in most games," Herold said.
UNO is coming off a two-game sweep at the hands of Minnesota, losing 8-4 before Wednesday's 1-0 setback.
"We had two chances to score and we didn't," Herold said. "But there are no moral victories."
Considering the transition season, the road-heavy schedule and the injuries, the fact that UNO's blowout losses, like the 20-1 defeat at UNLV, have come only occasionally might signal some optimism for the future.
"We need to get a little offense back (next year) and we'll be in some games," Herold said. "We've just got too many guys who are overmatched at the plate right now. We've got to play perfect to make it a game."
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