Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Bullpen Banter: Georgia on My Mind

Omaha Athletics | February 25, 2016
Sam Murphy is a junior left-handed pitcher for the Omaha baseball team. A broadcast journalism major from Lake Worth, Fla., Sam will write posts throughout the season for his blog, “Bullpen Banter,” available exclusively on OMavs.com.

“Georgia on My Mind.” I know you all have to be familiar with that iconic song from the legendary Ray Charles. When Mr. Charles released that song back in 1960, I doubt he had any inclination that he’d be foreshadowing the 2016 Omaha baseball schedule. Or did he?

Regardless of what Mr. Charles’ intentions were in the ‘60s, Georgia is now on the mind of every Maverick baseball player.

The Mavericks are already and will only become more familiar with the state of Georgia – particularly the Atlanta area, as 12 of our first 18 games are at the Perfect Game Complex in suburban Atlanta. Entirely, we open with 18 straight road games, which is the highest mark for the program since 2009 when that year’s squad played their first 21 away from Boys Town.

This is the first time since we’ve been at UNO that my teammates and I have made it out of our opening weekend without a losing record. Crazy to think about, but here’s how we’ve started since I’ve been here:

2013 / 0-3
2014 / 0-3
2015 / 1-2
2016 / 2-2

To us, opening the season with as many wins as losses is pretty significant. In the last few years, there was a mindset that opening weekend was our “mulligan,” meaning whatever happened – and it usually wasn’t good – was thrown aside and understandable given our situation as a program. And for the past couple years, that might’ve been okay. Conference season was our postseason.

Now, we’re postseason eligible and every game matters in the long run, leaving no room for those mulligan weekends. We’re a “cold-weather school” as they call it, and don’t get much, if any, practice time outside before the regular season, which was the case this year. To get early games in, we have to travel somewhere warmer than Omaha to often play schools that are accustomed to wearing sunscreen and being outside for workouts in December.

So that 2-2 start may seem modest to some, but it’s a big positive for us. It’s also a testament to how the guys prepared this winter to get themselves in game shape for the opening weekend.

Speaking of that first weekend, how about Coach Herold getting his 500th career win?! What a milestone for someone who’s been around baseball his whole life. From his education to his playing days, UNO and Omaha have been home. To nab that 500th victory with “Omaha” plastered across the front of our jerseys had to be pretty special for Coach. I definitely speak for my teammates in saying congrats, Coach – it was certainly well deserved, and we plan on getting you a lot more wins this season.

Anyway, it’s about time for us to hop back on the plane and head to Atlanta again. For the next few weeks at least, Georgia’s on our mind.

As always, if you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it – you can shoot me a tweet @SamMurphy_17. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back with you soon with some one-on-one profiles of some of the guys. Prepare yourselves -- we have some (and I mean this in the nicest way possible) interesting characters on the roster.

God Bless and Go Mavs,
Sam


Check out previous entries from "Bullpen Banter" below:
2014
#1 -- Let's Get Started (Feb. 7, 2014)
#2 -- A Delayed Start (Feb. 16, 2014)
#3 -- A Week in Florida (March 3, 2014)
#4 -- A Weekend in the Valley of the Sun (March 12, 2014)
#5 -- Spring Break Edition (March 29, 2014)
#6 -- Forging On to Fargo (April 8, 2014)
#7 -- Putting UNO on the Map (April 24, 2014)
#8 -- From North of the Border (June 13, 2014)

2015
#1 -- Long Time, No See (Feb. 10, 2015)
#2 -- Healing Powers (March 21, 2015)

2016
#1 -- Back to Bloggin' (Feb. 16, 2016)

RELATED STORIES

MAVS ALL-ACCESS

Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 3
Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 3
Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 2
Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 2
Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 1
Baseball vs. SDSU, Game 1

MORE HEADLINES