By Jake Eisenberg
The Terps were not selected to play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, thus ending Maryland’s season. The Terps finish 2016 with a record of 30-27. It’s the fifth-straight season Maryland eclipses 30 wins, and fourth-straight season for head coach John Szefc. He is the first coach in Maryland history to win 30 or more games in four-straight seasons.
Maryland made the Field of 64 each of the last two seasons as an at-large bid, each year advancing to the Super Regional before losing to Virginia.
Heading into the Big Ten Tournament, the Terps looked like a team on the fringe of the national conversation, but ultimately on the wrong side of the bubble. A stronger showing in the Big Ten Tournament—likely a Big Ten Tournament Final appearance—may have swayed the conversation and been enough to put the Terps in the Field of 64 for the third straight season. But, after a 2-2 performance in Omaha, Neb., a berth for Maryland, while not impossible, was unlikely.
The Terps finished ranked 59th in RPI, and had a resume bolstered by a tough schedule. Maryland played the 24th hardest schedule in the country, including the sixth-toughest non-conference schedule. Overall, Maryland went a combined 17-15 against RPI top-100 teams. However, the Terps finished sixth (13-11) in the Big Ten Conference—a conference ranked 7th in overall RPI.
Maryland faced seven teams in the Field of 64 during the 2016 season: Rhode Island, Southeastern Louisiana, East Carolina, Bryant, Cal St. Fullerton, Ohio State and Minnesota. The Terps went a combined 11-6 against those teams, including series wins over Rhode Island, Bryant, Cal St. Fullerton and Ohio State.
The Big Ten will send three teams to the tournament, Ohio State—which won the Big Ten Tournament an automatic bid—Minnesota, the Big Ten Regular Season Champion, and Nebraska, which earns an at-large bid despite an early exit from the Big Ten Tournament.
The Terps struggled with consistency throughout the season, struggling at times to fill the offensive and bullpen holes left by Brandon Lowe, Kevin Martir, Jose Cuas, LaMonte Wade, Kevin Mooney, Alex Robinson, Zach Morris and Jake Drossner. Maryland will not have the same issue in 2017, as LHP Rob Galligan and OF Anthony Papio are the only two departing seniors, and RHP Mike Shawaryn figures to be the only Terp lost to the MLB Draft. The Terps figure to return seven of eight starting position players and should be favorites in the Big Ten Conference come next season.