Game Preview: UMBC Retrievers

After losing a road series for the second straight weekend, the Maryland Terrapins are back in College Park this week for their final five home games of the 2017 campaign. The Terps (31-15, 14-7 Big Ten) will kick off the homestand Tuesday with a midweek contest against a local foe from up I-95: the UMBC Retrievers.

Maryland opened the weekend at Illinois with a resounding 9-4 victory, scoring eight runs in the first three frames to back up another strong  strong start from Brian Shaffer (8 IP, 2 ER, 8 K). However, Tyler Blohm and Taylor Bloom could not replicate Shaffer’s success on the hill against a struggling Illini team that entered the weekend 5-10 in the Big Ten. Blohm surrendered six runs over just 2.2 innings in the Terps’ loss Saturday, and Bloom gave up four runs without completing five frames Sunday, in a game the Terps tied in the ninth inning only to lose on a walk off.

After a 4-for-12 weekend at the plate, Marty Costes continues to lead the Terps in most offensive categories, including slash line (.351/.440/.573), homers (9) and RBIs (34). Along with Costes, Zach Jancarski, AJ Lee and Brandon Gum all boast averages over the .300 mark, while Kevin Smith’s .548 slugging percentage and eight homers rank second on the team.

Maryland’s bullpen also turned in a solid weekend, with John Murphy, Tayler Stiles and Jamal Wade combining to throw 5.1 scoreless innings of relief Saturday. Despite surrendering the walkoff home run Sunday, left-hander Andrew Miller still leads the Terps with a 1.47 ERA in 18.1 innings of work, holding opponents to a paltry .138 average. Murphy (1.56 ERA in 17.1 IP) and Ryan Selmer (2.48 ERA in 29 IP) have also pitched well out of the bullpen of late.

Meanwhile, UMBC split a doubleheader at Maine on Sunday after the first game of the series was cancelled. The Retrievers (18-19, 10-7 America East) have won seven of their last nine contests, but have struggled on the road, posting a 10-11 mark on opponents’ fields. They have thrived on offense this season, posting a .299 team average and 6.1 runs per game, but their pitching has let them down, as their 6.05 ERA ranks second to last in the America East.

Outfielder Collin Stack is one of the major forces in the UMBC offense, as his .345 average leads the team and ranks third in the conference. The junior has hit purely for contact, knocking just four extra base hits, but teammates Hunter Dolshun and Jamie Switalski have picked up the slack in the power department. Dolshun leads the Retrievers with six homers and 27 RBIs, while slashing .318/.406/.564. Switalski leads the conference with 17 doubles, and his four homers and 26 RBIs trail only Dolshun on the Retrievers. Andrew Casali has also put together a solid season offensively, hitting .320 with 14 doubles and a team-best 10 stolen bases.

But while the Retrievers have thrived offensively this season, so have their opponents. The UMBC rotation has been a revolving door this season, as five pitchers (Matt Chanin, Michael Austin, Jacob Christian, Mitchell Wilson and Joe Vanderplas) have made at least five starts this season. Only Chanin has started every game he has appeared in, and the junior right-hander leads UMBC starters with a 5.03 ERA, 48.1 innings pitched and two complete games.

Of the 14 pitchers who have appeared on the mound for the Retrievers this season, only a pair of southpaws, Andy Rozylowicz and Connor Staskey, boast ERAs under five. Rozylowicz leads the team with a 3.94 ERA, but has spent much of his time on the mound this year pitching out of the stretch, posting a 2.25 WHIP in 16 innings of work. Right-handers Patrick Phillips and Cory Callahan have eaten innings out of the bullpen for the Retrievers, pitching 23 and 22.2 frames respectively. Both own ERAs north of six, but Callahan has been the team’s de facto closer, notching three of the team’s five total saves.

This is the first meeting between the Terps and Retrievers since March 19, 2014, when Maryland defeated UMBC 6-0 at Harford Community College. Nick Cieri, Jared Price and Mike Rescigno were the only current Terps to appear in that contest, and Rescigno, now a reliever, made the start at first base.

Starting Pitching Matchup

TUE 4:00 p.m. EST

TBA vs. TBA

1Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo   vs. 

Neither Maryland nor UMBC has announced a starter for Tuesday’s game.