Fresh off a sweep against Princeton, No. 14 Maryland (12-4) heads to Elon to take on the newest member of the CAA for a two-game midweek set. The Terps will look to build on their five game winning streak before heading home to open Big Ten play on Friday.
TUESDAY AT 4 PM
Fr. RHP Brian Shaffer (1-0, 7.20) vs. Sr. RHP Lucas Bakker (2-3, 9.00)
Shaffer is making his first appearance in 9 days, when he was roughed up by UNC Wilmington. The freshman lasted just three innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits to the hard-hitting team. A move to the midweek could get the Shaffer back on track, but Elon will be a test.
Bakker has been an outstanding college pitcher throughout his career, but has hit a major road block in 2015. After leading the team in wins, innings and strikeouts last year, the Australian has been knocked around to the tune of a .347 opponents batting average in 2015.
WEDNESDAY AT 4 PM
Jr. LHP Jake Drossner (0-0, 4.50) vs. TBD
The Terps have won both of Drossner’s starts, but Pennsylvania lefty has been unable to get through the fourth inning in either of them. Maryland will need him to pitch deeper against an Elon lineup that poses matchup problems from top to bottom.
Scouting the Phoenix
The good part: Elon is batting .311 this year, with six of their starters batting over .340.
The bad part: Their pitching staff is giving up 11 runs per game.
Expect a lot of runs the next two days, as the Phoenix allowed 41 runs to East Carolina over the weekend. So far this year, they’ve given up 11 runs or more in eight different games. Factor in that the Terps scored 33 runs in three games against Princeton this weekend, and Maryland’s lineup should be eager to get back on the field Tuesday.
Offensively, Elon is led by senior Casey Jones, who batted .418 last year to win the SoCon batting title and finish fourth in the country in hitting. He was top six nationally in AVG, OBP and SLG and won the Southern Conference Player of the Year Award. He’s off to a .348 start this season and has much more help, as four other Elon hitters have a higher average so far.
Chris King and Nick Zammarelli are the main power threats for Elon. Zammarelli already has four home runs and 26 RBIs, while King is at three and 24 respectively. Joey Tomko (.410), Ryan Cooper (.375), Quinn Bower (.361) and Austin Leeney (.353) are all off to great starts to help fuel the high-octane Phoenix offense.
Historically, Elon has been a mid-major powerhouse, having posted 17 winning seasons in head coach Mike Kennedy’s 18 years. They’ve recorded 51 wins over ACC teams during that span and captured six Southern Conference titles. The most recent one came in 2013, when they finished as runner ups in the Charlottesville Regional.