The 20th-ranked Terps (30-13, 11-4) begin a home-and-home series with local rival Delaware on Tuesday – a series that will continue in Newark, Del. on Wednesday. The Blue Hens (18-15, 7-8), currently sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association, are coming off a weekend sweep of William & Mary after losing three out of their four prior games. Maryland, meanwhile, are also in the midst of a three-game win streak after sweeping Purdue over the weekend.
Terp fans might remember Blue Hen senior Greg Olenski, who transferred from Maryland after the 2013 season. Despite playing in just 23 games this year, the designated hitter is hitting a scorching .431 with .692 slugging and .519 on-base percentages – all marks that lead the team. Over his three years in College Park, Olenski played in 41 games, mostly as a designated hitter or pinch-hitter, with a .338 batting average.
Delaware’s other big bats are centerfielder Joe Giacchino, second baseman Zach Lopes, third baseman Diaz Nardo and right fielder Norm Donkin. Lopes and Giacchino are both hitting over .300 (.353 and .322, respectively) and are tied for the team-lead in hits (48). Nardo, meanwhile, leads the Blue Hens in RBI (28) with four homers thrown in. Donkin is tied with Lopes for the team-lead in runs scored (30) while stealing a team-high 11 bases this season.
First pitch for today’s game at Shipley Field in College Park is scheduled for 4 p.m. MBN will have the call, which you can listen to here, starting at 3:45.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Tuesday, 4 p.m. in College Park, Md.
Both teams have taken a committee approach to their midweek starters, trying out a variety of pitchers to see which ones strive in the role. Freshman Brian Shaffer has five starts on the year with a 5.17 ERA and a 2-0 record. The Terps’ right-hander, who threw six innings of one-run ball a week ago at VCU, will presumably get the nod from pitching coach Jim Belanger this time around.
As for the Blue Hens, they’re more unstable with their midweek starting pitching than Maryland. They’ve had five different pitchers make spot-starts outside of their weekend rotation, making their probables for this home-and-home series tough to predict. Despite compiling just 9.2 innings, freshman Colman Villa has started two games for Delaware this year, sporting a 3.72 ERA. Meanwhile left-handed sophomore Kevin Milley also has two starts on the season with a 4.84 ERA. Freshman Matt Hornich has three starts, but his ERA stands at 12.96 over just 8.1 innings.
Wednesday, 3 p.m. in Newark, Del.
On Wednesday, we could see right-hander Taylor Bloom take the mound for the Terps. The freshman took a loss in his first career start last week against VCU, going four innings and allowing just two runs. Bloom has appeared out of the bullpen in nine other games this season with a 5.14 ERA.