By Chris Rogers
Coming off a disappointing weekend in which the Terrapins lost two of three to Illinois at home, Maryland will travel to Morgantown Tuesday to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. It will be the first and only meeting of the year between the two schools, who last played on April 7 of last year, a 12-7 win for the Terps.
After riding a hot streak of late, the Terps (25-21, 10-8 Big Ten) faltered over the weekend, losing Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, 4-2, and Sunday’s matinee, 5-4. They were only able to salvage the nightcap Saturday, which they won 3-1 thanks to a complete-game effort from Taylor Bloom and a Kevin Smith three-run homer. Mike Shawaryn started the first game of the series and pitched well, but was doomed by four-straight hits in a three-run fourth inning. He was outdueled by Illini ace Cody Sedlock, who pitched a complete game and didn’t surrender a hit after the second inning. Sunday, the Terps made a comeback, scoring two runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Andrew Bechtold and Zach Jancarski, but Mike Rescigno surrendered the tiebreaking run in the ninth and Maryland fell in the rubber match.
The Terps, who have flourished offensively for much of the season, could not seem to solve the Illinois pitching staff, as Marty Costes recorded the team’s only multi-hit effort of the weekend on Sunday. The team collected a total of three extra-base hits in the series – doubles from Anthony Papio and Nick Dunn to go with Smith’s homer. Maryland will look to turn it around offensively in the midweek matchup against a pitching staff that has struggled at times this season.
The Mountaineers (27-19, 11-9 Big 12), h, are hot, winning eight of their last nine, including a home sweep of Texas over the weekend. Like the Terps, they have been led by their offense this season, hitting .283 as a team. They are led by outfielder Darius Hill, who has hit .345 with 17 doubles and 35 RBI, and first baseman Jackson Cramer, who is hitting .294 with a team-high 6 home runs. However, outside of Chad Donato (2.95 ERA), their pitching staff as a whole has struggled, pitching to a 4.20 on the season.
STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
TUE at 6:30 PM
Fr. RHP Hunter Parsons (2-0, 3.42 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP Braden Zarbnisky (3-0, 3.38 ERA)
Hunter Parsons has appeared in 11 games this season, including three starts. He has allowed nine runs (all earned) over 23.2 innings, for a 3.42 ERA. He last appeared in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, pitching two scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout. Braden Zarbnisky, who has seen time both on the mound and in the outfield for the Mountaineers this year, is 3-0 in nine appearances (3 starts). He has held opponents to a .240 batting average this year, one of the best marks on the team.