(WVUE) - A year ago, Ron Maestri came out of retirement to coach UNO baseball and the team struggled to win just 11 games.
The good news for the 74-year-old is that his young team gained valuable experience that will carry over to this year. "We've got some better players and we really worked on attitude this fall and coming into spring, so I think we're better. We're playing a much better schedule, but overall you're going to see a better brand of baseball."
In addition to the 11 seniors suiting up for the Privateers this year, sophomores Samuel Capielano and Hezekiah Randolph are back sporting their Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Honors. Maestri expects an improvement at the plate.
"We do have some kids back and that's a plus. Pitching is going to have to carry us particularly with our schedule," he said. "But, I think we really added some offense. Last year, I think we were last in the league in hitting. I'd be shocked if we were this year. I think we're stronger in our approach and we've got some better hitters."
UNO's first four games are on the road before they host the MLB Urban Youth Invitational, starting with Alcorn State on Feb. 20.