Game Preview: Delaware Blue Hens

By Jake Eisenberg

The Terps travel to Newark, De. on Tuesday to take on the Blue Hens (3-3) in a mid-week matchup, with first pitch scheduled for 2:30 p.m. It’ll be the first mid-week contest of the season for the Terps after their scheduled game last week with VCU was postponed due to weather.

Delaware Away GraphicThe two teams met twice last year—a home-and-away series on April 28th and 29th. The Terps took both contests, winning 5-3 in Delaware and 9-4 in College Park. Kevin Smith led the way for Maryland in Newark, going 3-3 with a home run against the Blue Hens’ Kevin Milley, who will be on the bump for Delaware tomorrow (more on Milley to come). Brian Shaffer got the win, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out five. In the second of the team’s two games, three hits and an error led the Terps to a four-run second inning against Blue Hens starter Colman Vila. Anthony Papio drew four walks scored two runs. Taylor Bloom got the win for the Terps despite allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned).

STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

TUES AT 2:30 PM

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Jr. LHP Kevin Milley (0-0, 16.20 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP John Murphy (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Milley faced the Terps last year, giving up four runs over six innings, walking seven. Among those four runs was a solo home run from shortstop Kevin Smith. Current Terps Jamal Wade also faced Milley, tripling off the southpaw and coming around to score on his brother LaMonte’s single later that innings. Milley finished last season with a 4-3 record and a 5.04 record in 15 appearances (5 starts). This season, the junior has already made two appearances, neither with much success. Milley has logged 1.2 IP, giving up three runs on two hits and four walks.

Murphy, who was tabbed to make his first start against VCU last week before the game was postponed, will get his opportunity against Delaware tomorrow. The freshman right-hander has yet to make an appearance this season. He attended Gloucester Catholic High School—the same school as Terps RHP Mike Shawaryn—finishing with a 5-2 record, 1.83 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 46 innings. Murphy also holds GC’s career wins record.

The Blue Hens, like the Terps, head into the mid-week matchup with a .500 record (3-3). Delaware opened their season with a series win over Stetson in Florida, taking two of the three games, and then traveled to Old Dominion, who played host to a four-team tournament over the weekend that featured Delaware, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech and Manhattan. After winning 7-6 against the Hokies on Friday, the Blue Hens lost the final two games of the weekend, falling 10-2 to Manhattan and 10-4 to Old Dominion.

Diaz Nardo is the only returning starter for the Blue Hens, as eight of the nine other position players graduated. Those eight players accounted for 74% of the team’s run production and 77% of the team’s total hits. Nardo started the first five games of the season at third base, hitting cleanup, but gave way to Nick Tiero in the Blue Hens’ most recent game against Old Dominion after starting the season just 1-for-16.

Delaware skipper Jim Sherman, now in his 16th season with the Blue Hens, is still fiddling with his starting lineup, as only three players (Jordan Glover, Kevin Mohollen and Doug Trimble) have started all six games.

Glover has been the brightest spot for Delaware thus far, posting a .400 average with a team-high seven RBIs. The outfielder, who won the starting left fielder job, is a JuCo transfer from Cumberland County CC, where he helped the team to a national 2nd place finish, hitting .384 with 70 RBI, 25 stolen bases. He also won the JuCo Defensive Player of the Year Award. Molhollen redshirted last year, and has started 2016 hot. Six games into the season, the centerfielder and leadoff-hitter for the Blue Hens sports a .346 average with three extra base hits. Trimble is another familiar face. After tabbed to the CAA All-Rookie Team his freshman year, Trimble didn’t see much action in his sophomore campaign, playing just 10 games. However, this season, Trimble is a mainstay in the lineup at DH and can also play first base. Through six games, he has a .261 batting average, but is hampered by a team-leading nine strikeouts.

Maryland is coming off of a series win against Rhode Island. The Terps took the first game 1-0, dropped the Saturday contest, and outdid the Rams in the series finale 13-10. It was a wild series in College Park, Md. that saw just four total runs (and only one earned run) through the first two games, and a combined 23 in the series finale.

RHP Mike Shawaryn got the win on Friday after dominating for eight innings, striking out five. He faced the minimum amount of batters in his outing, allowing only two baserunners, neither of whom reached second base, retiring 20 of the last 21 he faced. RHP Ryan Selmer recorded his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth frame. Saturday saw more dominant pitching, but from the Rams. LHP Tyler Wilson struck out 11 Terps over his seven innings, allowing just one run. The Rams scored two, one earned, to get the win. Sunday was a slugfest, as both teams got hot at the plate. After the Rams put up four runs in the third innings, Justin Morris hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead in half. Rhode Island would add three more on a home run from Chase Livingston, and the Terps promptly responded, smacking two home runs in the bottom of the fifth—including a grand slam from Nick Cieri—en route to an eight-run frame. The Terps would go on to win 13-10 after adding some insurance runs in the eight inning.

MBN’s Jake Eisenberg will be live from Bob Hannah Stadium at 2:10. As always, you can listen live at http://mixlr.com/maryland-baseball-network/ and follow along on Twitter at @MDBaseballNet.

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