UNO has rebounded from a midseason slump to win seven in a row.
The difficult mission is to keep it going.
Fresh off a weekend sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and a midweek blowout of Southern, the Privateers (25-15, 9-9 Southland Conference) square off against Central Arkansas (16-22, 7-11) in a three-game series that begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Maestri Field.
After thumping Southern 23-3 in seven innings Tuesday, UNO was slated to face Southern Miss Wednesday, but afternoon rain washed out that game.
Against Southern, UNO racked up 25 hits, and Hunter Medine pitched five innings while picking up his second win.
“We’ve got to keep it going,” coach Blake Dean said. “It’s a big swing in the conference series with Central Arkansas right behind us. We have to create a little bit of a gap if we want to give ourselves a good chance to make the conference tournament.”
UNO enters the week sixth in the Southland standings and two games ahead of ninth place. Central Arkansas comes in tied for the eighth and final spot with four conference weekends remaining. Of the four series left, UNO faces three against teams beneath them in the standings.
The Privateers have a .315 team batting average after raising it nine points in Tuesday’s victory. That ranks UNO first in the Southland and tied for 12th in the nation. The Privateers have scored 299 runs, ranking 28th in the nation.
Aaron Palmer ranks first in the conference (tied for 24th nationally) in runs with 45.
In the runaway win over Southern, Preston Marsh collected his second four-hit game of the season and his first since the opening weekend of the year. Marsh moved his batting average above .300 to join six other UNO players.
Scott Crabtree started in right field Tuesday and went 3-for-6 with two doubles.
“Hopefully those guys regain their confidence,” Dean said. “Bumps and bruises is a part of the process. To be a quality team, you have to have guys step up and maximize their opportunity when they’re presented with it. Hopefully the guys’ confidence continues to grow and they stay aggressive.”
Central Arkansas dropped two of three games at home to Northwestern State last weekend. Central Arkansas did not play a midweek game because of final exams.
The Bears enter the weekend with a .251 team batting average and an ERA of 4.50.
Tyler Langley also has a .441 on base percentage. Logan Preston has drawn the second-most walks in the conference with 31.