Weekend Series Preview: Princeton

The Princeton Tigers (1-6) visit College Park this weekend for a three-game series which will include a Saturday trip to Harford CC due to impending rain.

The Tigers won 14 games each of the past two seasons, meaning anything less than a sweep will be a disappointment for the 16th-ranked Terrapins (9-4).

Princeton old school

They’re led by junior infielder Danny Hoy, who hit three home runs in one day against UNC Greensboro last weekend. Hoy is off to a .357 start with a team-high 11 RBIs. He batted .285 with good power last year.

Peter Owens leads the team in hitting with a .478 average through seven games and key returner Billy Arendt is batting .370 with six RBI. Sophomore Zack Belski is the other name to remember. He’s slugging at a .462 clip to begin the year after posting a .280 season as a true freshman season last year.

Head coach Scott Bradley is in his 18th season at Princeton and has taken the Tigers to six NCAA tournaments. He is the younger brother of former USA National Soccer team head coach Bob Bradley. Scott played nine seasons in Major League Baseball, and served as an outfielder for the Seattle Mariners for much of the late 1980s.

MBN will broadcast each of the three games this weekend, with Terps Pre-Game Live beginning at 2:30pm on Friday here.

Pitching Matchups

FRIDAY AT 3 PM

So. RHP Mike Shawaryn (3-0, 3.65) vs. So. RHP Chad Powers (0-2, 4.00)

702981 Shawaryn HS vs. Powers Princeton logo

Shawaryn is coming off his worst start of the season. He allowed six earned runs and seven hits over 4.1 innings against the Seahawks, teeing up three home runs in the process. His peripheral numbers are still outstanding. He’s struck out 30 batters in 24.2 innings and is only allowing opponents to hit at a .176 clip against him.

Chad Powers, the ace of this staff, has had two vastly different outings this season. In his first start of the year against LSU, Powers was very good, only allowing two hits in five strong innings. Unfortunately, his team made errors behind him so he allowed three runs, only one earned, and was handed the loss. In his second outing, Powers ran into trouble, giving up seven runs in four innings of work.

SATURDAY AT 7 PM at BEL AIR

Fr. LHP Willie Rios (0-0, 4.26) vs. So. LHP Keelan Smithers (1-1, 7.71)

702981 Rios vs. Smithers Princeton logo

Rios looked impressive in his first college start against UNC Wilmington, but his defense betrayed him as the Terps committed six errors in an 11-9 loss. The Connecticut native is looking for things to settle down as he gets the start in Bel Air under the lights.

Keelan Smithers has the singular win for this Princeton ball club. However, it was not a product of his pitching. He has lasted only three and four innings in his initial two outings, and has given up five runs in both. He pitches to contact, and has only struck out three of the 41 batters he has faced.

SUNDAY AT 2 PM

Sr. RHP Bobby Ruse (3-0-, 4.15) vs. TBD

702981 Ruse HS vs. Princeton logo

Ruse comes out of the bullpen to make his first start of 2015. He’s vulchered three wins out of the bullpen so far, striking out 14 batters in 13 innings. Ruse started four games last year and is accustomed to transitioning in and out of the bullpen. With the weekend rotation coming off a difficult series against UNC Wilmington, Ruse is looked to to be a steadying senior presence against Princeton.

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